TV & Movies

Why Abbott Elementary Star Tyler James Williams Doesn’t Ship Gregory & Janine

Williams has a controversial take on the fan-favorite pairing.

Tyler James Williams explained why he doesn't think Gregory and Janine should get together in 'Abbot...
Gilles Mingasson/Disney

Tyler James Williams is familiar with controversial opinions tied to Abbott Elementary. His character, Gregory Eddie, dislikes pizza and most other foods. He won’t play Settlers of Catan even though he loves board games. And, let’s not forget, he’s a Baltimore Ravens fan in a sea of Philadelphia Eagles diehards.

Still, it might be Williams himself with the most eyebrow-raising take of them all. While appearing on The Jennifer Hudson Show on April 9, Williams admitted he doesn’t really want Gregory and Janine (Quinta Brunson) to get together. He thinks their unique friendship serves viewers in a more important way.

Platonic Displays Of Affection

Williams knows his opinion on Gregory and Janine isn’t a popular one. “I hate to say it and I know everybody’s always mad at me for saying this,” he said. “I don’t necessarily want to see them together.”

Nonetheless, he has his reasons — and, honestly, they’re good ones. “I don’t think that we see displays of platonic love between two people often [on screen],” he explained. “I think it’s really easy to go right to ‘they have feelings for each other, therefore they should be together.’ [But] I like this dynamic of them exploring withholding that and just actively loving each other where they are.”

Gregory (Tyler James Williams) and Janine (Quinta Brunson) in Abbott Elementary Season 3Gilles Mingasson/Disney

Williams went on to add that he’d like to see more of these platonic relationships on TV, in particular. “I think TV allows people to see things that could be their lives for the first time, and I think seeing a healthy friendship that is deeply caring about one another in a work atmosphere needs to be shown more than the relationship,” he said.

Reworking A Trope

Though many fans are still rooting for Gregory and Janine to get together sooner rather than later, Brunson, too, hopes to give audiences something different. “I like to take into account that we’ve seen versions of this trope before,” she said of their will-they-won’t-they relationship during a Television Critics Association event in February, per TheWrap. “I really like to look at TV as constantly reinventing the wheel.”

Brunson emphasized that the two teachers are still in their 20s, and they’re on their own paths. That’s something Williams also noted when he spoke to Entertainment Weekly ahead of Season 3’s premiere. He praised Janine’s decision to keep Gregory in the friend zone even after they opened up about their feelings for each other in the Season 2 finale.

“Her choosing selfishness is not selfish,” Williams said. “There is something to knowing where you are and what time you’re at in your life.”

Watch Williams’ Jennifer Hudson Show interview below.

Abbott Elementary airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.