Charmed beef explained – What the feud is about

Photo credit: Warner Bros.
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

From Digital Spy

Nothing is certain in this life except for death, taxes and the ongoing Charmed saga.

The dispute kicked off back in 2018 when it was announced that the fantasy drama, which revolves around three witch sisters who use their magical powers to fight the forces of evil, was getting the reboot treatment.

It was described by The CW as a "fierce, funny, feminist reboot of the original series", again following three sisters who discover that they're witches and spend their days "vanquishing supernatural demons, tearing down the patriarchy and maintaining familial bonds".

Photo credit: The CW
Photo credit: The CW

The reviews were mixed, with some critics branding it a flop, while others felt that it had potential, with the Latina and African-American heritage of its central trio a welcome and necessary update.

But what about the original cast? How did they feel when the news hit headlines?

Holly Marie Combs, who played Piper, had a few choice words.

"Here's the thing," she tweeted. "Until you ask us to rewrite it like [showrunner] Brad Kern did... don't even think of capitalising on our hard work.

"Charmed belongs to the 4 of us, our vast amount of writers, crews and predominantly the fans. FYI you will not fool them by owning a title/stamp. So bye."

A few months later, Combs had still not changed her stance, sharing a screenshot in which she said that while she "appreciates the jobs and opportunities the Charmed reboot has created", she "will never understand what is fierce, funny or feminist in creating a show that basically says the original actresses are too old to do a job they did 12 years ago".

Combs added: "I hope the new show is far better than the marketing so the true legacy does remain."

In response to her comments, CW boss Mark Pedowitz said (via Deadline) that "everyone is entitled to their opinion".

"I have great respect for them as actors," he said. "But give the show a shot."

Pedowitz explained that while the original was "a great show for that time and place", the network "wanted to take a different path with it".

Photo credit: The CW
Photo credit: The CW

While not critical of the decision to make the reboot, Shannen Doherty (Prue) took issue with the description "fierce, funny, feminist", arguing that it suggested its predecessor had been none of those things.

"[It's] a very ignorant stupid comment," she told one fan on Twitter. "Perhaps made by a millennial that never watched the show and just read a synopsis on it."

By contrast, Rose McGowan (Paige) offered her support to the new cast and crew, tweeting: "I wish everyone the best. I have zero reboot issues. Fly, girls, fly."

She later echoed her well-wishes on Instagram: "Really? Is the reboot really that bad?

"I hope not. I wish nothing but the best for the new female actors whose careers hopefully will be launched by this show into something long and prosperous."

Speaking to Us Weekly at Comic-Con back in 2018, Madeleine Mantock, who plays Macy in the reboot, said that it was "really nice" to have McGowan's support, adding, "That was so kind of her to say that."

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

But McGowan's support did nothing to change the minds of her former co-stars.

In 2019, Alyssa Milano (Phoebe) was asked by US Weekly if she'd ever consider reuniting with Combs and Doherty, to which she said: "I think that ship has sailed", before going on to blame the new-look version for how she was feeling.

"I think that they ruined the possibility of that by the way in which the reboot came down," she added.

"Like, the fact that we weren't included from the very beginning. It just felt really disrespectful, you know.

"It's sad, too, because I think we all would have come [together] to do something. [We] created that world. It would have been amazing."

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Now, once again, tensions have come to a head.

Sarah Jeffery, who stars in the Charmed reboot as Maggie, shared a video on Twitter of Combs and McGowan, in which the former said: "When you search for [the show on Netflix], they want you to find the new Charmed and not the old people."

McGowan then responded: "But it sucks. I haven't seen it, I can't say that. I've never seen it... but it sucks.

"I'm happy that people have jobs, but it can still suck."

Understandably, Jeffery decided to call out their behaviour.

Photo credit: David Livingston - Getty Images
Photo credit: David Livingston - Getty Images

"You know, I saw this earlier and I refrained from saying anything," she tweeted. "I thought, better to just let them shout into the abyss. But I do want to say, I find it sad and quite frankly pathetic to see grown women behaving this way.

"I truly hope they find happiness elsewhere, and not in the form of putting down other WOC. I would be embarrassed to behave this way. Peace and love to y'all."

McGowan, who was initially seemingly supportive of the reboot, has since responded to Jeffery's comments on her Instagram Stories.

"Dear Sarah Jeffery, I honestly had no idea who you were till you tweeted," she wrote.

"I have been too busy fighting monsters and fighting for a massive Cultural Reset to notice who's in the reboot. Absolutely nothing to do with race, that's quite a stretch you took. I'm beyond glad any WOC has a well-paying job. Hell yes to that. I'm sure you are a great actress."

She added: "My quibble (google it) is about execs and producers and @wb network trading on years of my work and name in such a cynical and obvious way – a money grab to cash in on the Charmed name.

"I do not care that they remade it, I have far bigger things I'm dealing with. I do not nor will I watch a show I disagree with on principle," Rose went on to declare.

"There's no soul or heart in something made purely for profit whilst refusing to elevate and innovate. Reboots will always be the shadow, the originals will always be the sun. I wish you well."

Photo credit: Spelling/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock
Photo credit: Spelling/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

Combs also sided with McGowan, describing Jeffery's comments as "some bullshit. And a lot of it. Clearly," adding: "People speaking, excuse me typing, derogatory accusations of a person's character despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary because of a difference in opinions about a tv show is just plain wrong. And also personal gain honey."

Combs has since tried to deescalate the situation by laying the blame on those at the "corporate level".

She added: "And I will say to the ladies of the reboot... stick together... negotiate together and know that the discourse between us, you guys and crews being discarded and replaced is what they bank on. Division. That is all. Blessed be."

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

And there's not just bad blood between certain members of the OG cast and those involved in the reboot.

McGowan and Milano also have their own ongoing feud.

The two were engaged in a heated political debate on Twitter earlier this year, which quickly turned personal.

"You made 250k per week on Charmed," wrote McGowan. "You threw a fit in front of the crew, yelling, 'They don't pay me enough to do this shit!'

"Appalling behaviour on the daily. I cried every time we got renewed because you made that set toxic AF. Now, get off my coattails you f**king fraud."

There were also reports that Doherty and Milano were not on speaking terms for quite some time, and in an interview with Entertainment Tonight regarding her exit from the series, Doherty said: "There was too much drama on the set and not enough passion for the work".

On Watch What Happens Live, Milano also addressed the behind-the-scenes tensions.

"I can tell you that we were on the air with her [Doherty] for three years and there were definitely some rough days," she said.

But Milano did say that it was the "best job" she's ever had, and she posted a message of support to Doherty on Instagram when it was announced that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

But while the pair haven't sparred publicly with one another in quite some time, it's clear that the controversy surrounding Charmed isn't dying down any time soon.

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