'Boy Meets World' Star Rider Strong Says Show Was 'Naïve' In Addressing Race, Interracial Relationships: 'We Should Probably Talk About This Explicitly'
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Television

'Boy Meets World' Star Rider Strong Says Show Was 'Naïve' In Addressing Race, Interracial Relationships: 'We Should Probably Talk About This Explicitly'

Boy Meets World star Rider Strong now says he feels the show could have done a lot more regarding its approach to race.

The show to address interracial relationships in its later seasons through the characters Shawn, played by Strong, and Angela, played by Trina McGee.

Strong said spoke about it in a recent Entertainment Tonight interview.

He said that the series didn't know how to address it properly.

“The big question [that] hovered over the whole show at that point was, ‘Do we address it on the show?’ We use to debate it. We used to outwardly talk about it; me, Trina, the writers of the show,” he said. “Ultimately, we ended up not addressing it. We sort of went with an optimistic ’90s, colorblind optimism.”

He said he would have loved having McGee on his new podcast about 'Boy Meets World' so they could talk about how the series handled race.

Strong, Danielle Fishel and Will Friedle are currently hosting a podcast revisiting the show.

“We should probably talk about this explicitly because I wonder how she feels about it now,” he said. “At the time, I think she was really proud of it. She ended up writing an op-ed in the LA Times at one point being very proud of the fact that we had an interracial relationship on the show and that she was a part of that. I think, if I remember correctly, she was supportive of the idea of not talking about it.”

"We had very many issue episodes, but we never made an issue episode out of race…with Trina," he continued.

“If we were making the show now, let’s address it head-on. 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 naïve.”

Questions about race weren't just within the series' storyline, but also on the set itself.

McGee revealed in 2020 how she dealt with racism within the cast. Danielle Fishel and Will Friedle were revealed as the castmates who treated McGee rudely and, in the case of Friedle, said a racial remark. The two have since apologized to McGee, and she commended them on showing “sincerity and healing.”

Strong and McGee reunited on screen as their characters in 2015 for the spinoff series, Girl Meets World. 

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