Alyssa Milano has denied she got Shannen Doherty fired from the hit WB series, Charmed.
The 51-year-old actress made the declaration Saturday in a lengthy caption to a post highlighting remarks she made the day prior while at MegaCon in Orlando, where the subject was broached in front of diehard fans of the series. First, some backstory — fans will recall that it was Holly Marie Combs who on Doherty’s podcast, Let’s Be Clear, alleged Milano played a pivotal role in Doherty’s firing from the hit series in the early 2000s.
That was in December. Fast forward to Friday, when Milano said she anticipated the question was coming and she wanted to be careful about how to address it.
“I knew this was going to come up in one way or another, and I want to be very thoughtful in how I respond to any of this.” Milano then added, “And I will just say I’m sad.”
While Milano never denied the claim at MegaCon, she added she’s “most sad for the fans” because she knows the show “has meant so much to so many people” but now the show “has been tarnished by a toxicity that is still to this day almost a quarter of a century later still happening.”
Then, on Saturday, Milano took to Instagram and added more context to the ordeal before denying she got Doherty fired.
“I don’t know one other show that has had the success that Charmed had where the cast still speaks ill of the experience a quarter of a century later. This is 15 movies and 13 TV shows ago for me,” she said. “This was 11 years before my 15 year marriage and 13 years before having my first child. This was so long ago that any retelling of these stories from anyone is just revisionist history.”
“I will add, though, with absolute certainty—everything was documented,” she continued. “There was a professional mediator (I was told Holly and Shannen would not participate in any mediation) and an on-set producer/babysitter who were both brought in to investigate all claims. It was then recommended by this mediator, after collecting testimony from cast AND crew—what changes should be made if the show was going to continue. The studio, Aaron Spelling, and network made the decision to protect the international hit that was Charmed. I did not have the power to get anyone fired. Once Shannen left we had 5 more successful seasons and I am forever grateful.”
In the December episode of Doherty’s podcast, Combs detailed a meeting with show producer Jonathan Levin, who purportedly explained that they were forced to choose between Milano and Doherty due to a hostile workplace environment claim filed by Milano against Doherty.
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“We were told [by Alyssa] that it’s her or [Shannen], and Alyssa has threatened to sue us for a hostile workplace environment,” Combs said on the podcast. She suggested that Milano allegedly documented every instance she felt uncomfortable on set.
Combs, who starred in all eight seasons of Charmed from 1998 to 2006, expressed her surprise, claiming that she never witnessed any overt conflicts or hostility on set. She mentioned that the tension was behind the scenes and not evident to the crew or special guest stars.
Combs later said she was prepared to leave the show if Doherty was ousted. Instead, Combs claimed she was “forced” to go back on the show following a threat of legal consequences if she decided to leave.
“They forced me to go back to a show I wanted nothing to do with,” Combs said. “I ended up doing the most hours for the least pay because I just didn’t ask for raises, I didn’t want to be more taken out of the budget, I didn’t want to have no money for guest stars.”
In 2021, Milano told ET that she and the Beverly Hills, 90210 alum are “cordial.”
“I could take responsibility for a lot of our tension that we had. I think a lot of our struggle came from feeling that I was in competition rather than it being that sisterhood that the show was so much about,” she said. “And I have some guilt about my part in that.”
In December, Doherty opened up on her podcast about her rift with Milano and how she “cried every single night of season 2,” after Combs’ uterine tumor caused a temporary halt in filming. Doherty claimed she attempted to visit Combs in the hospital, but Milano and her mom, Lin, weren’t having it.
This alleged incident marked the beginning of a strained relationship that persisted throughout the second season, leading Doherty to have tearful nights on set. Doherty left the show after season 3 and was replaced by Rose McGowan.