Meagan Good & Jerrie Johnson Open Up About ‘Harlem’
Actor Jerrie Johnson says that Amazon’s Harlem series is the Sex In The City show she’s always wanted while Meagan Good has learned lessons on friendship from her character, Camille.
The series revolves around four Black women friends who are strikingly stylish and carry bold personalities as they navigate the realms of life, love, and career. For Johnson’s co-star Meagan Good, the series represents an opportunity to address issues that Black “women are dealing with and want to have conversations about.” With the return of the series’ second season, this statement from Good couldn’t be more true.
Fans continue to be enamored with the storylines portrayed by each of the Harlem leading ladies. Camille, played by Good, is struggling to move on from her ex and explore new options romantically. While also furthering her career in education. While Tye, played by Johnson, strives to initiate a divorce from her former husband. And establish long-term romantic ties with female suitors.
Quinn, played by Grace Byers, struggles to make her mother happy after switching careers from an office worker to a business owner. And decides to explore the option of dating the opposite sex for the first time. Angie, played by Shoniqua Shandai, struggles with a failing Broadway career after signing a record deal five years prior and then being dropped from the music label. Ultimately, Harlem maintains viewers’ interest by being unpredictable in its storyline. Yet unafraid to approach topics and scenarios that many shows would simply avoid.
Jerrie Johnson Talks Fluid Sexuality On Harlem
Jerrie Johnson and Meagan Good sat down exclusively with The Shade Room’s Senior Editor, Jadriena Solomon. And shared why the show is a breath of fresh air in today’s entertainment. As well as how participating in the series has fostered better friendship skills.
Jadriena Solomon: Harlem gives modern Day ‘Girlfriend’ vibes, and it’s safe to say we don’t have too many shows like this today. Jerry, how does it feel to be a part of such a rarity in today’s sea of entertainment?
Jerrie Johnson: It feels amazing because I feel like I am playing a character that the younger me would’ve liked to see. Additionally, it can open doors to more writers making space for queer people to not just be in the margins — to not just be playing the best friend, to have a storyline, and… for it not to be a constant coming out story. I understand that coming out is important, but some queer narratives are all about coming out. Or all rooted in some sort of confusion.
Sexuality is a choice and it’s fluid. At any moment, any different choice can be made, but it’s up to the person. And I think what Tracy has created — in even making sure that the writer’s room had queer writers — is important for people to know that queer people exist. And you don’t have to create a show without any queer people because you are not a queer person. Tracy recognized that her friend group has queer people. And even though she’s not a queer person, she wanted to write a character that expresses that so that her friends feel seen.
I think it’s beautiful that the door is now open. And I’m excited to see what nuances now come from it. I’m excited to see more queer characters that are playing leads in movies that are not all about their queerness.
“What Being Around The Women On This Show Has Taught Me Is That I Have Friends Too.” — Meagan Good
Jadriena Solomon: The women in ‘Harlem’ confide in one another about the good, bad, and the Ugly. Meagan, what lessons have you learned from your character as well as the other ladies about how to show up as a better friend?
Meagan Good: I think I’ve learned a lot from us just working together because, in a lot of ways, we’re very new in each other’s lives. And I think we’ve all had friendships, in some capacity, that have [lasted for] almost lifetimes at this point… Trusting [is something] I do have a little bit of a hard time [with]. I don’t have a hard time being vulnerable or having the desire to confide. But I have a hard time trusting that someone really has me and someone really is covering me. And that they have my best interest.
What I’ve learned is to trust more, and to see that God brings specific things in very specific seasons of your life. And to lean into that, and appreciate that. Additionally, to understand that it’s a gift and to treat it as such.
I feel like I try really hard to be a really good friend and to be trustworthy. I try to be very honest and show up when people ask me to. And protect their privacy and secrets — all those things. But I think the biggest thing for me is that I have spent a lot of time being other people’s friends — being a good friend to them. But without allowing them to be a good friend to me… So I think… what being around the women on this show has taught me is that I have friends too. I’m not just a friend, but I have friends too. Good friends.