Charmed – the hit fantasy drama that aired for eight seasons on The WB – is still widely considered a cultural touchstone by man. In the years since the show wrapped its run in 2006, the cast has shared behind-the-scenes details about their experiences – both negative and positive. At the end of 2023, series alum Shannen Doherty made a major claim, as she alleged that former co-star Alyssa Milano is the reason she was fired from the show. Milano didn’t immediately respond to the allegation at the time, yet the actress has now addressed it.
Shannen Doherty, who played Prue Halliwell during the show’s first three seasons, said that her exit was the result of a feud between her and her former co-star. As she stated on an episode of her Let’s Be Clear podcast, her on-screen sister gave the producers an ultimatum. The Phoebe Halliwell actress allegedly said that due to supposed tension between her and Doherty, one of them had to be fired and, she supposedly said that if she was let go, she’d sue over a hostile work environment. Doherty then alleged that her agent told that her departure would be framed as though she chose to leave the show willingly. The Mallrats alum apparently scoffed at the idea but ultimately went along with it.
The subject was brought up to Alyssa Milano when she appeared at MegaCon Orlando. While the actress didn’t explicitly deny the claim made by her former scene partner, she did express sadness over the fact that drama still surrounds the show so long after its conclusion. In her exact words, which were captured by RoJay Armstead and shared to YouTube:
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, and I think we all know that I’m talking about Shannen’s podcast – and Holly and Shannen are doing it together, things that Rose has said in the post. So I’m just gonna address it … I want to be thoughtful because I don’t want to add on to anyone else’s pain, because I don’t think that’s cool either. So I will just say that I’m sad. I don’t think it’s really that I’m sad for me or for my life or how it does or does not affect my life. I’m the most sad for the fans. I am the most sad that a show that has meant so much to so many people has been tarnished by a toxicity that is still to this day – almost a quarter of a century later – still happening, and sad that people can’t just move past it. And I’m sad that we all can’t just celebrate the success of a show that meant so much to all of us.
The Charmed cast member also opened up about how she’s personally tried to deal with the tumultuous situations that stemmed from her time on the show. She told the crowd in Orlando that she’s had to put in some work in order to put the “trauma” she’s experienced behind her. Additionally, she shared one wish that she holds:
I think when I think back to that time, it was hard for me, and I have worked super hard in my life – in the last 25 years – to heal all of my trauma, and that’s not just all the trauma I experienced while shooting but all of my trauma. And I’ve worked really hard to heal the bits, because I understand that hurt people hurt people. My intention is to be a healed person that helps heal people. That’s kind of how I feel. Do I wish we could all sit on a stage? Yeah, because again, this was almost a quarter of a century ago. How is it possible to continue to hold on to that? And you know, I think I’ve been very upfront and taken accountability for and apologized for whatever part I played in the situation, and I’ve been very forthcoming about that. So I don’t know how else to fix it. I even don’t know if I can put myself out there anymore than I already have to try to fix it. But yeah, it’s heartbreaking, it’s hard. This is the uncomfortable part that I wish was different. So apologies to all of you who love us anyway.
For her part, Shannen Doherty said during the podcast that she didn’t remember ever being "mean" to Alyssa Milano while on set. As for why she chose to share this latest information about why she was let go from the show, Doherty - who’s been discussing her stage 4 cancer diagnosis as of late – conveyed that she was tired of conveying a “narrative” that was not her truth.
Shannen Doherty apparently also had drama with another former alum from the show – Rose McGowan, who replaced Doherty following her departure. While the two seem to be on generally good terms today, McGowan previously spoke about their "feud," saying that they were pitted against each other by outside forces in the entertainment industry.
Despite the rumors and drama that continue to swirl around the show, its legacy has lived on. Its enduring popularity is arguably what prompted The CW to debut a reboot in 2018. The OG Charmed stars seemed to be mostly fine with the notion of a new series, though Holly Marie Combs later shared some salty words. The show ultimately ran for four seasons before it was canceled in 2022.
Whether the original cast will ultimately be able to resolve their differences remains to be seen. In the meantime, Alyssa Milano – as she later explained during her panel – hopes that the drama doesn’t "ruin" the love for the show. If the response from the people in attendance is any indication, there still seem to be fans who enjoy the series regardless.
All eight seasons of Charmed can be streamed using a Prime Video subscription.