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Penwah Thomas Blasted Kris Jenner’s Plans To Trademark “Momager”; Her Daughter, Michelle Thomas First Came Up With The Name In 80s To Praise On-Set Moms, She Said

A veteran stage and screen actress said she is one of the original “momagers” and has poopooed Kris Jenner‘s attempt to trademark the name.

Penwah Thomas said her daughter Michelle coined the phrase “mommyger” back in the late 1980s. Michelle Thomas, well-known for playing Steve Urkel’s girlfriend Myra on “Family Matters,” used the word to describe her mother and other “on set moms” like Kadeem Hardison’s mother, Bethann, Malcolm Jamaal Warner’s mom, Pamela,  and Gail White, whose son is Jaleel White. Penwah is supporting an online petition at to protest Jenner’s trademark move.

“How could someone that exudes zero of these qualities own this word?” Penwah told BOSSIP. “It is an honorable title, not a fad like being vegan or having a black boyfriend or a new bag.”

Penwah said she’s especially furious because she said Michelle created the name to celebrate women who were managing their children’s careers. She said she’s concerned “momager” will lose it’s meaning with Jenner taking it over.

“These women she admired because they were women on the top of their “mommyger” game,” Penwah said. “The sacrifice they made to make their children dignified artists.”

Penwah said she hitchhiked from Boston to New York, endured homelessness while living in California and helped Michelle with monologues, homework, auditions and constant rejection to build her career. Michelle Thomas passed away, age 30, in 1998.

“We groomed artists with a serious craft,” she said. “We taught them work ethics, educated them, groomed and guided them. I don’t know everyone’s personal journey, but I scrubbed toilets and took the bus in snowstorms. We were accountable for their behavior and well being.”

It’s not clear what Jenner makes of the move; a rep for “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” hasn’t responded to BOSSIP’s request for comment.

Penwah said she’s not going to stand by and watch Jenner cheapen a word Michelle meant to empower women who gave their all for their children.

“Let’s not forget where this word came from and it’s true meaning,” she said. “Lets not change it’s meaning from a positive to a negative.”


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