“Boy Meets World” alum Rider Strong is speaking out on his frustration over how sex was handled in the show’s prom episode.
During a recent episode of the “Pod Meets World” podcast, Strong and his co-hosts and former co-stars Danielle Fishel and Will Friedle were answering a fan’s question regarding three episodes that were allegedly “banned” from airing on the Disney Channel when it syndicated the show from ABC. All the episodes that Disney chose not to air involved sex or drinking.
The trio began discussing one of the episodes, season five’s “Prom-ises, Prom-ises”, in which Fishel’s character Topanga and her boyfriend Cory Matthews (Ben Savage) consider having sex for the first time after prom.
“I remember really not liking the prom episode,” said Strong, who played Cory’s best friend Shawn Hunter. “I remember being very upset during that entire week.”
He continued, “I was very upset with the adults on our set, specifically the way that they were approaching this, specifically because we were not discussing safe sex.”
“The fact that we would not bring up Cory and Topanga using condoms or having a discussion about birth control at all, and yet the entire episode was about whether ‘will they’ or ‘will they not’ [in]the bedroom and the hotel room.”
Strong recalled that he voiced his concerns to “Boy Meets World” co-creator and showrunner Michael Jacobs at the time.
“I just remember being so upset, and I brought it up. I remember talking to Michael about it, saying, ‘Can we talk about this?'” he said.
The “Cabin Fever” star continued, “Like maybe, you generationally don’t understand that, but we were growing up in the era of AIDS, this is something that we have to talk about. When you are discussing losing your virginity, you discuss how you’re going to do it and how to be safe about it.”
“And he completely blew me off and told me that it was a ridiculous thing to worry about and that we don’t even need to discuss it,” Strong said.
“I felt, at the time, that that was incredibly irresponsible.”
Strong recounted how Jacobs expressed concern over a scene in a later episode in which Topanga and Cory talk about sharing razors. He said that Jacobs was worried about the scene since he had read that hepatitis could spread through sharing razors.
“I just remember being so p–sed,” he said. “Like, now we are going to talk about hepatitis but for whatever reason, the notion of discussing safe sex is off the table?”
Strong explained that he felt that the discrepancy was due to the generational difference between the cast and the producers.
Fishel explained that she also “felt uncomfortable the whole week for similar reasons.”
“I don’t have specific memories other than just, kind of, ickiness about the week,” she added.
“Boy Meets World” ran for seven seasons on ABC from 1993 to 2000. The Disney Channel aired reruns of the hit show from 2000 to 2007.
Fishel and Savage starred in the show’s Disney Channel spinoff series “Girl Meets World”, which was created by Jacobs and “Boy Meets World” co-creator April Kelly. Strong and Friedle also returned to reprise their roles during the show’s run from 2014 to 2017.