20 Years Later, the Girlfriends Cast Reflects on the Show's Lasting Impact

click to play video

The girls are back! The cast of Girlfriends took a nostalgic trip down memory lane — all the way back to 2000 — when they virtually reunited on Friday. The core four women of the hit '00s sitcom — Tracee Ellis Ross (Joan), Jill Marie Jones (Toni), Golden Brooks (Maya), and Persia White (Lynn) — hopped on a Zoom call to celebrate the show's 20th anniversary and its recent release on Netflix. While the girlfriends previously reunited on screen last year in an episode of Black-ish, the video chat is their first "uncensored" reunion without a moderator, and we could feel their excitement through the screen.

"All four of us were so protective of what we were trying to say."

The actresses sat down (with drinks, of course) to discuss how they'd grown up together in real life, their hilarious ongoing group chat, and the lasting impact of Girlfriends, which followed the lives of four Black women. "All four of us were so protective of what we were trying to say and I have to say that we as a cast constantly spoke up and said, 'this doesn't feel right,'" Ross said. Brooks added, "We all come from four different walks of life, and we had to honor each of our journeys and what that dynamic felt like to us."

"If you saw something on the show that you didn't like, we probably had a conversation about it," White also said. "We can't win every battle and we're here to do our jobs, but we tried our best when it came to not objectifying the perception of Black women and our own struggles. And all our shades, physically and emotionally, we're different, and I felt like that was the gift we kept trying to give." The women discussed how proud they were of themselves for tackling these issues as Black women back in the early 2000s. Girlfriends dropped on Netflix Friday, joining a slate of other Black sitcoms that recently arrived to the streaming platform, including Sister, Sister and Moesha. Watch the girlfriends' full, unfiltered conversation above, and get ready for some laughs.