A week after Wu ranted on social media about being upset that her sitcom, Fresh Off the Boat, was being renewed at ABC, McGowan revealed that she had once been unhappy to learn that her popular network show, Charmed, would continue.
Charmed aired for eight seasons from 1998 to 2006. McGowan joined the cast as Paige Matthews in the fourth season, following the death of Shannen Doherty’s character.
@ConstanceWu When I would get renewed on Charmed I would cry. I was made of in front by my co-star in front of the crew at lunch for crying. I was painted as ungrateful because I was making money. But what if the money isn’t everything to us, wealth doesn’t justify being trapped— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) May 17, 2019
In a life you don’t want. Everyone, including you, is entitled to change their perception of what equals wealth. I hope you feel no shame for sharing your true feelings. Do not let them shame you— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) May 17, 2019
*fun of— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) May 17, 2019
She discussed the issues she struggled with during her time on the CW drama on a January 2018 episode of her docu-series Citizen Rose.
“I believe art shows you exactly where you are when you buy it,” McGowan said while referring to a blurry painting at her home. “I was on a show called Charmed, and I was so lost, I was so invisible. Nobody could see who I was. I couldn’t see who I was.”
She pointed to another work.
“That girl, she’s a bound and gagged ballerina in a cage, and that’s exactly what my life felt like,” McGowan said.
In fact, McGowan was so unhappy during her second year on Charmed that she began hypnotherapy. She described having been yelled out by producers and directors and having to follow rules about keeping her appearance consistent. No weight or hair changes, for instance.
“I found the repetitive days so opposite my natural rhythms that I became sick over and over. And it was at times a very stressful environment,” McGowan said, per People. “I started to have panic attacks because of everything I was pushing down. I was sick about four or five times a season. We would shoot 22 or 23 episodes. On hour-long TV, you are essentially shooting half of a feature film in eight days. The pace was grueling. Two years in a row I had 102-degree fevers and got dumped in trash cans, in a stunt, always on the days that I was the most ill.”
McGowan’s reaction to Wu’s comments is an anomaly. The Crazy Rich Asians star received considerable backlash for her words.
Wu ended up explaining her statements in several more tweets, noting that she’s “grateful” for the renewal and that she “loves” the show’s cast and crew, but the renewal meant she had to give up a passion project. She called her sitcom “fun and easy and pleasant,” but added that she has “always sought artistic challenge over comfort and ease.”
ABC, the network behind Fresh Off the Boat, stood by Wu.
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