Trina McGee is revealing some more hard truths from behind the scenes of the beloved sitcom, “Boy Meets World”. The series alum appeared on a recent episode of “Pod Meets World”, a “BMW” rewatch podcast hosted by stars Danielle Fishel, Will Friedle and Rider Strong, where she revealed why she didn’t appear in the show’s series finale.
McGee played Strong’s onscreen girlfriend, Angela Moore, for three seasons and was the only Black actress on the celebrated ’90s show. Over the last few years, she’s opened up about the negative experiences that came with the fan-favourite role, including being called “Aunt Jemima” by Friedle, and feeling unwelcome by other actors on the show — including Fishel, when McGee guest starred on the revival series, “Girl Meets World”, in 2015.
During the podcast’s new episode, McGee alleged that she had been told that her castmates didn’t want her involved in the finale. Her last appearance was in the penultimate episode in which Angela leaves with her father for Europe, making her the only main character not to appear in the series finale.
“I was told, in kind of a weird, off-handed way by a very important person, that you guys all went to [showrunner] Michael Jacobs, and you said, ‘We don’t want her in the last episode. She’s somehow taking our light,’ was the gist of it,” McGee said. “I was told that after I shot what was the show before the last episode, which was called ‘Angela’s Ashes’ when I left.”
“That was really hurtful to me for a long time,” the actress shared, referring to the incident as “ground we have not covered.”
Fishel, Friedle and Strong quickly assured McGee that she had been misled. “Can we say for the record, Trina, that never happened,” Friedle said. “That’s not competitiveness, that’s sociopathy. This pisses me off. This is next level.”
Although McGee noted that she believed the trio, she shared that there were several other experiences that made her time on the show markedly different from her white co-stars.
“Coming from Black sitcoms, I always had to have a Black meter,” she joked, explaining that while on “BMW” she had tuned her Blackness “probably down to a two.” But she recalled when she had somehow had “slipped up” when filming her final appearance as Angela and “was at about a nine.”
“Michael comes over to me and his note was, ‘Hey, Trina, just turn down the Telma Hopkins about eight notches,’” she alleged, referencing the “Family Matters” actress. “I knew exactly what he was talking about and I did… There are so many things you guys are so lucky you didn’t have to think about.”
McGee also addressed an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times ghostwritten by her husband and her publicist but credited to the actress that defended the show’s decision not to address the fact that Angela and Shawn were in an interracial relationship.
“If I had to do it over and I could take my real stance, hindsight and everything, I would have wrote an opposite article,” she said, explaining that while she didn’t want to be burdened with the weight of being ‘The Black Girl on the Show,’ she would’ve pushed more to have jokes about the differences or acknowledge it in creative ways.
“I think the majority of people in comments on social media say that they’re cool with it not being mentioned,” she noted, “but I do say those are predominantly white people. Interracial couples want it to be talked about.”
Back in June, ET spoke with the podcasting trio about their favourite moments from the series and Strong reflected on how the show addressed the pair’s onscreen relationship at the time.
“The big question that was hovered over the whole show at that point was, ‘Do we address it on the show?’ We used to debate it. We used to outwardly talk about it; me, [actress] Trina [McGee], the writers of the show,” Strong said. “Ultimately, we ended up not addressing it. We sort of went with an optimistic ’90s, colorblind optimism.”
Strong does believe that, if “Boy Meets World” was being made today, the storyline would’ve been handled differently.
“We had very many issue episodes, but we never made an issue episode out of race… with Trina. If we were making the show now, let’s address it head-on,” he said. “Let’s talk about it, let’s have it be an issue. I think it probably would’ve been an issue for somebody in the circle or somebody in their life. I think at the time it felt very optimistic, [but] now I would say [it was] maybe a little naive.”
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