Boy Meets World's Trina McGee Says Will Friedle Made Racist Comment About Her on Set But Has Apologized
"We talked more on it and he acknowledged that he really wasn't educated enough in his early twenties to know he was truly offending me," Trina McGee said
Trina McGee is opening up about how she and her former costar Will Friedle were able to mend their friendship after she says he previously made a racist comment about her while filming Boy Meets World.
Back in January, McGee, who played Angela Moore on the series, tweeted about her experience, writing that she was “called Aunt Jemima on set.”
While Aunt Jemima is known as a brand of pancake mix and syrup to many, the figure is more commonly associated with Southern racism and the mammy caricature of black women, according to the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
During the Civil War, the mammy was a stereotype that presented the idea that black women were happy as slaves and were content being submissive. The mammy was often depicted as being overweight, wearing a maid-like uniform.
“Called a bitter bitch when I quietly waited for my scene to finish rehearsing that was being f’ed up over and over due to episode featuring my character. Told ‘It was nice of you to join us’ like a stranger after 60 episodes,” McGee said, recounting her experience.
McGee further elaborated on her time on the show, which also starred Ben Savage, Danielle Fishel and Rider Strong, tweeting, “I did my job and I expect my due. At times the tension of the disrespect was extremely stressful.”
McGee shared that at the time she was only 25 years old, “raising a family and did not deserve to be thinking about this.”
While McGee did not mention anyone by name at the time, she revealed on Instagram Thursday that Friedle was “responsible for AuntJemmagate.”
A rep for Friedle did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
McGee says that Friedle “apologized to me 22 years ago and again days ago in a three-page letter.”
“We talked more on it and he acknowledged that he really wasn’t educated enough in his early twenties to know he was truly offending me.”
McGee said the incident “should and could be a teaching moment for all.”
“For all people of all races or different backgrounds. He has conveyed to me how much this has changed his perception of comedy and humanity,” McGee continued.
“We fall short of sensitivity at times, but let’s be real on what EXTREME RACISM IS. I believe extreme racism is when my grandfather had to leave South Carolina in the middle of the night because the clerk had given him the wrong change and when he pointed this out to the white store owner [he] was threatened with lynching,” McGee shared.
“Scuddie McGee left South Carolina that night for fear of his life. Bringing his small family along with him to New Jersey. I’m not backing down on the truth. It’s stands. Will apologized to me and I forgave him.”
McGee then explained that she issued Friedle an apology of her own “for making the statements public because his joke came out of just not knowing, not viciousness and he forgave me.”
“That’s what friends do,” McGee concluded her post, adding that everyone should now go back to “washing your hands and surviving this pandemic.”
“Let love and hope be the next pandemic,” McGee wrote.
Proving all is well, Friedle commented, “I love you, Trina” in the comment section of the post.
On the show, McGee’s character was the girlfriend of Shawn Hunter, who was played by Strong.
Strong’s best friend was Cory Matthews (Savage) who was the brother of Friedle’s character Eric Matthews.
Boy Meets World first premiered in September 1993 and ran for 7 seasons before ending in May 2000.
For a few glorious years, they even satisfied fans’ fervent desire for a reboot with Girl Meets World, which ran from 2014 to 2017 and followed the life of Cory and Topanga’s (Fishel) daughter, Riley.