For fans of “Shark Tank,” the Season 5 premiere marks a pivotal moment in the show’s history. It’s the first time both of the ABC series’ female Sharks, Lori Greiner and Barbara Corcoran, will appear on the panel at the same time — an event that, for the two fierce businesswomen, couldn’t have come soon enough.
Speaking with reporters in advance of Friday’s (Sept. 20) premiere, both admitted that they felt this was a long time coming. “It’s been maybe two years overdue, in my opinion,” Corcoran says, “but we’re happy we’re here.”
“Yes, it’s been wonderful,” Greiner agrees. “It’s been great.”
During the interview, the two bicker like old friends. “I actually heard Lori look a blond bombshell with 9-feet-long legs in the eye and lie straight-faced to her and say, ‘You are just like me when I was young.’ And what did I say, which will be edited out, of course? I said, ‘You never looked that good.'”
“She said, ‘You are ugly, Lori.’ That’s what she said,” Greiner counters.
“No I didn’t! Your interpretation! I would never say that,” Corcoran asserts before finally admitting, “Well, maybe the second comment was that when you didn’t laugh at the first one.”
Though the women are laughing through the exchange, there’s a slightly biting undercurrent, prompting one reporter to ask if there’s contention between the two on the set.
Corcoran laughs it off. “Not at all, I’m just play-acting right now just to entertain you, to tell the truth. On the set we have no contention, really, but we should. It would be better for the show because everybody would like to see at least one Shark fight between the girls.”
“Barbara and I, we get along,” Greiner adds. “We’re both women, we’re strong, smart women; we have to respect each other … And also I do think we have fun together.”
“I wish I had more fun with you, to be honest with you,” Corcoran admits.
Both women are pleased that they no longer have to play the “token woman” role on set, fearing that it may have been misrepresenting a woman’s ability in the business world. “It sends a bad message, I want to say, to the young girls at home,” Corcoran says. “Some of them want to be Miss America, some of them really want to be in business. So you open that show, you see two females on a set of guys, looking like they’re smart like the guys, and right away that is half the power of having two women on the set. Before they open their mouth!”
“I get a lot of young women who tell me that I’m a role model … parents tell me their 7-year-old little girls are using us as role models,” Greiner adds. “I think it’s important to feel that they can do anything and not put themselves mentally into ‘I’m a woman, therefore I won’t get this or that.’ I think you have to take that off of you.
“I think having that attitude is an important message to them so that it’s like, don’t walkout into that meeting thinking you’re inferior; walk into that meeting thinking you’re equal, if not superior.”
“I say walk into that meeting and picture yourself a man,” Corcoran interjects.
“And wear a short red skirt…” Greiner continues, to which Corcoran agrees: “Why not?”
“Shark Tank” returns for Season 5 on Friday (Sept. 20) at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.