Two out of four Charmed Ones have spoken out in defense of the original supernatural series, which ran for 8 seasons from 1998 to 2006.
In a sprawling interview with The Hollywood Reporter published on April 1, a former writer and producer of the CW series discussed quitting Charmed around season five after network executives reportedly began pushing for more ways to get stars Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano, and Rose McGowan “naked” each week. While the trio played badass sister witches Piper, Phoebe, and Page Halliwell, their costumes were sometimes…less than serviceable.
“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,” Krista Vernoff, the current showrunner of Grey’s Anatomy, told THR. “Then every episode after, the question would come from the network, ‘How are we getting the girls naked this week?”
She continued, “And 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.'”
After the quote made headlines, Milano and Combs both spoke out in the show’s defense on Twitter. “Well, this absolutely broke my heart,” Milano tweeted on April 1. “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.”
Combs, who played the leader of P3, agreed. “I can attest 1000% Charmed was not bad for the world,” she replied. “The reasons and people are too long to list. Maybe it was bad for Krista’s world at the time. End story.”
The Pretty Little Liars star then added, “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”
Prior to Milano and Combs’ reactions, Vernoff already took to Twitter to clarify her statements. “I do not believe that the show was bad for the world,” she tweeted. “I felt that the objectifying notes were bad for the world—and demoralizing for me. All love to Charmed.”
Combs had a response to this as well: “You had the power to change that,” she replied. “And fortunately still do now. #Rebel.”