This week, the long-running feud between Good Wife stars Julianna Margulies and Archie Panjabi was reignited, after the former co-stars admitted that their final scene together on the show was actually filmed separately and then spliced together. The CGI reveal speaks to rumors that the actresses can’t even stand to be in a room together; they stopped shooting together halfway through season four (Panjabi left the show after season six). Margulies insisted at The New Yorker Festival that the alleged feud was “totally gossip” and that “there’s no story there, sorry.” She then attempted to appease conspiracy theorists, arguing that their computerized final scene together was simply a matter of busy schedules, since Panjabi “was also doing another show, called The Fall.” As befitting your mom’s favorite drama, things took a turn for the scandalous when Panjabi retweeted a link to Margulies’ comments, insisting that The Fall “was not even in production at that time and I was in New York ready to film the scene!” In honor of these middle-aged shade maestros, we decided to throw it back to the greatest off-screen TV feuds of all time (AKA, post-1990).
Grey’s Anatomy is everybody’s favorite show about hotties who are neurosurgeons, hotties with facial hair, hotties with PTSD, and biracial hotties. It’s a veritable paean to beautiful doctors who love to bone, interspersed with the dramatic plot lines of the critically injured patients who probably would have preferred a medical team with less sexual tension/interpersonal romantic history. Naturally, Grey’s off-screen drama was so incendiary, it went down like a bad Shonda Rhimes script. After only three seasons on the hit show, Isaiah Washington was fired by ABC after he used a homophobic slur against co-star T.R. Knight, during an on-set argument with Patrick Dempsey. After the slur heard ’round the world went public, Knight went on a contrition tour but was unable to salvage his contract. He maintains that he was wronged by ShondaLand, and that “My livelihood, my honor and dignity and my name have been so challenged.“ Next, Katherine Heigl pissed off all of her co-workers by ditching Grey’s to pursue her film career. As co-star Ellen Pompeo explained, “Katie’s problem is that she should not have renewed her contract. She re-upped, took a big raise and then tried to get off the show. And then her movie career did not take off.” What are you trying to say about 27 Dresses, Ellen Pompeo?
Brothers & Sisters
In 2008, noted lothario Balthazar Getty was fired from this soapy series after high-profile infidelity accusations. Getty, who imploded his marriage to pursue an affair with Sienna Miller, had apparently become increasingly difficult in the wake of his five minutes of tabloid fame. He was further alienated by his judgmental co-stars, who had grown close to his wife and family over the course of the series. The fact that Miller used to date another Brothers & Sisters cast member, Matthew Rhys, probably didn’t help matters either. While ABC insisted that the firing was a creative decision, all signs point to an acrimonious split.
Anyone who thinks that The Sopranos kicked off the golden age of TV has never read an oral history of 90210. The ’90s teen television sensation threw a bunch of child actors together on set, covered them in dueling plaids and matching scrunchies, and let ’em loose. Drama ensued. The most talked about feud was between Shannen Doherty and Jennie Garth; in 2008, co-star Tori Spelling dished that the two demi-divas once “got into a fistfight.” Garth later elaborated: “We were shooting a scene and Shannen kept grabbing at the hem of my skirt, trying to slap me on the leg—anything to get me to react and break character. Finally, when she’d pulled up my skirt, and my bare ass was exposed for everyone on the set to see, I did snap and I yelled at her, something to the effect of, ’Come on, bitch! We’re taking this outside!’” According to Garth’s memoir, the three leading ladies were constantly at each other’s throats. But out of all the OG frenemies, Doherty was definitely queen bee—her feisty attitude and bad bitch reputation allegedly got her booted from both 90210 and her later WB series, Charmed.
Two and a Half Men
In 2011, Charlie Sheen went on an insane bender, coining catchphrases, partying with strippers, and generally blowing up his own life one ill-advised interview at a time. Sheen saved his most biting vitriol for Chuck Lorre, the Two and a Half Men creator whose wildly popular sitcom kept Sheen gainfully employed, calling him a “stupid little man” and a “punk that I never want to be like.” While Sheen’s rampage successfully proved that he could write more innovative, compelling dialogue than the creative team at Two and a Half Men, it also got him fired.
Just ask any middle schooler: a photo shoot, whether for an Instagram or a Vanity Fair cover, is a particularly fraught and revealing trial for any friendship. Such was the unfortunate case in 2005, when Desperate Housewives’ Marcia Cross and Teri Hatcher were driven to tears because of, respectively, being not popular enough and being too popular. At the fateful Vanity Fair shoot, Hatcher was apparently placed in the center of the photo. Cross was like OMG, because she was told that this was an ensemble cast and that none of the women would be granted preferential treatment, and what’s so special about Teri Hatcher anyways, and we should totally just stab Caesar! Anyway, Cross started yelling, Hatcher started crying, and you should save that 2005 Vanity Fair cover because it’s basically a historical artifact.
Apparently, Chevy Chase was constantly beefing with his Community co-stars. But the argumentative actor took it to the next level when he started feuding with show creator Dan Harmon. After Chase refused to finish a scene and instead stormed off set, Harmon premiered a “Fuck you, Chevy“ toast at the Season 2 wrap party. Chase countered with a profanity-laden message left on Harmon’s voicemail. While Harmon eventually apologized for making the audio recordings public, Chase left the series in season four in light of the controversy, creative differences, and fan backlash.
When Growing Pains’ Julie McCullough was outed as a former Playboy centerfold, her co-star Kirk Cameron apparently expressed moral qualms and concerns about working with the star. Tabloid gossip insisted that Cameron wanted McCullough booted off of the show, in large part because of her Playboy past. Rumors abounded that Cameron “stormed into the producers’ office“ after his character proposed to McCullough’s “insisting that the wedding plans be called off.” Growing Pains maintained that the PG sitcom would proceed as planned and that Cameron never expressed any concern over the R-rated photo scandal.
Gossip Girl, the beloved TV show/book series responsible for many a pre-teen’s sexual awakening, is centered around one major secret. But while we’ll never know who Gossip Girl is (no, it’s not Dan—that was a blatant Hail Mary by producers desperate to wrap up the series—don’t @ me), Leighton Meester and Blake Lively’s ill-disguised acrimony was basically hiding in plain sight. We can only assume that Lively hated Meester’s Blair for having all the best outfits and hottest boyfriends, while Meester resented Lively’s ability to be a famous, highly-paid actress, despite only having one facial expression (the pout) at her disposal. At the height of GG-mania, Lively’s publicist basically copped to the feud, saying, “Blake and Leighton have never been best friends and never professed to be. Blake goes to work, does her job, and goes home.” Wait, was that supposed to be a beef denial? Looks like Blake Lively’s publicist might actually be worse at her job than Lively is at hers.