Why Are the Two Generations of Charmed Ones Fighting?

Charmed -- "Exorcise Your Demons" -- Image Number: CMD104b_0202.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Madeleine Mantock as Macy, Sarah Jeffery as Maggie and Melonie Diaz as Mel -- Photo: Robert Falconer/The CW -- © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Charmed and drama have always had a complex history, from the exit of cast members and creators to reboots. The latter has resurged in conversation with actress Sarah Jeffery, from the reboot (called NuCharmed, in the fandom), calling out original stars Rose McGowan and Holly Marie Combs for their comments on a live stream.

A video that went up on social media shows McGowan and Combs together answering a question about why the original series stopped streaming on Netflix. The reboot comes up, and McGowan then says the reboot “sucks” (despite not having watched it), while Combs laughs in the background.

Jeffery responded on Twitter, calling the behavior “pathetic.”

Here is what I feel about this situation after the past few days of watching this discussion, Combs releasing a rebuttal, and McGowan releasing … an essay.

There are a lot of issues I have with the new Charmed series, which mostly fall to the behind-the-scenes choices, but the racism that these women have faced, before the show even started, is an issue. It’s bad form for the original actresses to keep dragging this issue out because the optics are that they are white actresses from a show that, in its entire run, had some of the worst diversity I’ve ever seen.

Though I still wish they’d cast actual Afro-Latina women in the roles of Macy and Maggie, part of the reason I have continued watching the show is that it is compelling and new to see women of color being witches and the leads in a series like this. It means something to people, especially the young women who are watching it.

As Mekishana Pierre eloquently put it, “[Charmed is] for people to discover that there isn’t just one face to this kind of world and that there are so many different traditions, cultures, and ways to explore it. It’s a new story.”

Melonie Diaz, Madeleine Mantock, and Sarah Jeffrey are actors. They are working. They are doing a job. But they are also the face of this new brand, and criticism of the show that is meant for the higher-ups lands on their doorstep. It’s unfair, and for women who have also been the faces of a show and have been asked to carry burdens that they did not create, it should be clear why this isn’t okay.

That’s especially true when original Charmed fans are still harassing the women of the reboot and see comments from Combs and McGowan as validation for their vitriol.

Sometimes, save these things for the group chat.

(image: Robert Falconer/The CW)

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