Say it isn’t so! Trina McGee, who played Angela Moore for three seasons of Boy Meets World, recently took to Twitter to spill some tea on her experience with racism in the workplace. Unfortunately, many childhoods were ruined when that workplace was confirmed to be none other than the set of Boy Meets World itself.
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ABC’s Thrilling TGIF Lineup
Your parents had afternoon soap operas Monday through Friday, but Friday nights and Saturday mornings, the television belonged to the 90s kids. TGIF (Thank Goodness Its Funny) was the tagline for the lineup of ABC shows aimed at kids, teens, and families. The programming block would premiere in September of 1989 with Full House, Perfect Strangers, Family Matters, and Just the Ten Of Us. TGIF would dominate ratings in the 18-49 demographic for most of the 90s, only declining towards the year 2000 with the aging demographic and the reduced quality of the shows.
Boy Meets World would join the TGIF lineup in September of 1993, and maintained an average of 9 million viewers for its 7 season run. The show’s premise was the coming of age of a pre-teen and his friends, including a great balance of humor, and relatability. It wouldn’t be as hokey as Full House when dealing with issues such as puberty, developing feelings for the opposite sex, sexual harassment, gap years, alcoholism, and parental abandonment.
However, the show would still be a product of its time when it came to crossdressing, and its severe lack of diversity despite taking place in the city of Philadelphia. The show’s OTP was undeniably Cory (Ben Savage) and Topanga (Danielle Fishel), the on and off couple of who would eventually stay on by the show’s finale.
Shawn And Angela: The First Groundbreaking Teen Interracial Couple On Television?
Angela (Trina McGee), and Shawn (Rider Strong), who filled the BFF role for Cory during the run of Boy Meets World, depicted a long term interracial relationship that was a rarity at the time. Although they decided to break up permanently in the show’s penultimate episode, they would stand as a fan favorite couple of the show.
Their racial differences were never made to be the butt of the joke nor the main focus of their relationship. This was appreciated by Trina McGee, who hoped that the relationship would serve as an example of color blindness for the world. She also said that she received praise and appreciation from fans, who would always inquire as to when the characters would get back together after they broke up.
As a fan of Angela, and Shawn myself, I was heartbroken by their breakup in season 7, and even more so when they didn’t become endgame in the spinoff, Girl Meets World. While Angela and Shawn’s relationship may have been progressive on screen, it turns out things were different behind the scenes.
Intense Racial Tensions On Set
It all began with a tweet back on January 12 of this year, when it appeared that Trina McGee was allegedly being “duped” by a convention booking. In the thread, there is talk of a group and a claim that there is an actor from said group that has “requested for five years now that they be seen with no other principal females from the group”.
It doesn’t take much to put two and two together, since McGee only has one principal role in her career. The convention in question appears to be Keystone Comic Con, since the announcement of a Boy Meets World reunion at that con was made in early January. Trina is the only key cast member missing from the lineup. How could you flub up the chance to have two major couples of the show at your convention?
While McGee didn’t verbally confirm that Danielle Fishel was the culprit, she did like the tweet. The convention incident seemed to be the last straw, opening up a floodgate that exposed incidents of racial tension on the set of Boy Meets World. Although the show is never mentioned by name in any of the initial tweets, more than likely due to legalities, there are enough clues to make the connection.
When asked who the alleged cast members were who engaged in this behavior, McGee answered that it was the people on the poster, but then went on to absolve Rider Strong. That only left Ben Savage, Danielle Fishel, and Will Friedle. As of this time, none of the accused have released any statements pertaining to these allegations, although fans have been demanding answers.
This is beginning to make headlines now because her recent IG live drew attention to her tweets, and it’s definitely something that needs to be addressed by the appropriate parties. It appears that Trina McGee wants nothing more but to be acknowledged as an equal part of the team when it comes to the convention circuit, to expose those who are blocking her from said circuit, and to hopefully help the next actor who deals with on set and onscreen issues as the “token minority”.
However, she has since refuted some of her own claims on IG live, explaining that she doesn’t think it’d be classified as racism today and that the costar who called her Aunt Jemima has since apologized. Did she backtrack because of backlash or because an agent or someone from ABC made a deal? Although it may not have been blatant racism, microaggressions are still a huge issue, even today. Sounds like it was a combination of microaggressions and blown up egos.
Can you watch Boy Meets World the same again? Let us know in the comments below.