ANOTHER Charmed fight? Damn, y’all, this show has given as much drama in the past couple years as it has in its entire original run!
This time it’s all thanks to a former writer of the series giving an interview in which she was a bit too honest! LOLz! In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Krista Vernoff — known now as the showrunner of Grey’s Anatomy — talked about her early days writing for The WB‘s witchcraft hit.
She worked on the show from 2000-2004, but then in Season 5 something happened that soured the experience for her. She spilled:
“I signed on because Charmed was a girl-power show, and about halfway through there was an episode where Alyssa Milano comes out in mermaid pasties and there was a huge spike in male viewership.”
The episode in question was the fifth season premiere, entitled A Witch’s Tail, in which Phoebe is magically transformed after trying to help a former mermaid — played by Jaime Pressly — who had made a pact with an evil sea hag. (Yes, they were saving The Little Mermaid, LOLz!)
Unfortunately, says Vernoff, the network was all about that spike in male viewers, and they started chasing the dragon right away:
“And then every episode after, the question would come from the network, ‘How are we getting the girls naked this week?’”
Vernoff says the recent passing of her father had made her re-evaluate things, and she decided not to return to the show for the next season despite the offer of a big pay raise:
“They were throwing money at me, and the number keeps going up, and there’s all this pressure. And all I can think is, ‘I’m creating something that’s now bad for the world, and I’ve had enough bad for the world in my life.’”
Sorry, BAD FOR THE WORLD?? Wow, that’s a bit much, isn’t it? Certainly the stars of Charmed thought so. Milano took to Twitter shortly after in response, writing:
“Well, this absolutely broke my heart. I hope we didn’t make something that was ‘bad for the world’ for eight years. I think we gave permission to a generation of women to be themselves and to be strong and own their sexuality. I’m so proud of what this show meant to so many.”
And her elder TV sis had even more to say. Holly Marie Combs went off, tweeting:
“I can attest 1000% Charmed was not bad for the world. The reasons and people are too long to list. Maybe it was bad for Krista’s world at the time. End story.”
*narrator voice*: It wasn’t the end of the story.
“And the fact that we can still stand up for ourselves and the show and the people who loved it proves this. I never cared what producer or network exec wanted us more naked for their $. And still don’t. We knew how to rally against it and found our own power. And still do. #Facts”
The response from the cast prompted Vernoff to backpedal a bit, tweeting out:
“I want to clarify here for Charmed fans and also for my colleagues from Charmed who I love and admire, that I do not believe that the show was bad for the world. I felt that the objectifying notes were bad for the world — and were demoralizing for me. All love to Charmed.”
Hmm… that’s really not what she said before. And if that’s what she meant, it sounds like she needed a real rewrite on that answer. And no, Piper wasn’t done with the piping hot takes! She responded directly to her former colleague’s clarification, referencing her new ABC show Rebel:
“You had the power to change that. And fortunately still do now. #Rebel”
The actress went on to make sure her feelings on how the show treated women were perfectly transparent, writing:
“In 2004 when Krista left I was pregnant with my first son and I went back to work when he was 3 months old. I and my new baby were completely embraced on that set. Trust when I say there was enough girl and women and man power daily to help me raise an amazing now 16 yr old boy.
I’m sorry Krista’s bts experience was different. Had we been made aware of comments or directions like that we would have loudly disagreed and been “bitches” about it. Unafraid. Undeterred. As always. Widely reported. Universally known. And crazily … still talked about.”
She added in regards to the sexualized costumes:
“Also we all chose our outfits or lack thereof. The WB nor our producers ever controlled us or our choices after season 1. Cuz it was a good year for them. We changed dialogue at will and refused storylines when it was warranted. Our execs will attest to that as well I’m sure.”
Finally, getting in one last dig at Vernoff, she wrote:
“Also words have meaning. Writers take note.”
What do YOU think of Vernoff’s words? Did Charmed become “bad for the world” in its last couple seasons? Think either Shannen Doherty or Rose McGowan will chime in?
[Image via FayesVision/WENN/Instar/WB/YouTube.]