Trina McGee, who played Angela on the ABC sitcom Boy Meets World, recently shared a throwback photo of herself and former co-star Will Friedle on her Instagram feed. The caption accompanying the image clarified that Friedle had apologized to her twice for making a racially insensitive joke in the past.
According to E! News, tweets from McGee alleging that she experienced a hostile work environment while on set resurfaced online.
“Called aunt Jemima on set during hair and make up. Called a bitter b*tch 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,” she tweeted back in January.
In the Instagram post shared by McGee on Thursday, she revealed that Friedle was the castmate who had made one of the offensive comments to her.
The 50-year-old actress claims that Friedle apologized to her 22 years ago and then again days ago in a “three-page letter.”
She says they were able to talk about why what he said offended her and that Friedle has since thoroughly reassessed his understanding of comedy and humanity. McGee added that Friedle admitted to not being “educated enough” at the time to understand why what he said was so insulting.
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FOR THE RECORD: WILL FRIEDLE the man responsible for AuntJemmagate, apologized to me 22 years ago and again days ago in a 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. THIS 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. We all 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 he pointed this out to the white store owner and was threatened with lynching. 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, I then apologized to him 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. Now get back to washing your hands and surviving this pandemic and let love and hope be the next pandemic. #loseonefriendloseallfriendsloseyourself #trinamcgee
In her lengthy Instagram caption, McGee explained that she was sharing the story to create a teachable moment. McGee’s experience with Friedle helped her understand how talking about uncomfortable moments can change perceptions and is helpful to people of “all races or different backgrounds.”
She went on to compare the differences between Friedle’s lapse in judgment to what she deems “extreme racism,” using an example of something that happened to her grandfather in the past.
McGee explained that a “white store owner” in South Carolina once threatened to lynch her grandfather for pointing out that the clerk had given him “the wrong change.” She claims that her terrified grandfather left the state that night.
Finally, the actress wrote that she had forgiven Friedle because his joke came out of ignorance, “not viciousness.”
She also said she had apologized to him for making the incident public and that he had forgiven her, too.
The Eric Matthews actor responded to her post shortly after it went live.
“I love you, Trin,” he commented.
Dozens of fans also responded to McGee’s Instagram post to commend her for her “graceful” handling of the situation.