"He Sort Of Was Terrorising The Set" – These Shows Were Chaotic AF To Film And Had Plenty Of Off-Screen Feuds

8 months ago 5

"I cried every time we got renewed because you made that set toxic AF."

Many TV shows aim for a series packed full of drama, but sometimes (and frankly, quite often), there is as much off-screen tension as there is on it.


Here are 15 shows where chaos reigned behind the scenes:

1. Glee


Much has been spoken about the chaotic filming process of Glee. Of course, the tragic deaths of cast members cast a dark shadow on the series. 

The off-set drama was a constant presence during the filming process. Among the actors, there was immediate competition, even for things such as followers online. 

Dugg Kirkpatrick, hair department head of season three noted this social media competition, saying, "I would oftentimes see the actors gathered talking about how many people they acquired as followers, and it was a competition. In the beginning, they had to tweet every day. It was Lea [Michele] who really had the numbers."

Of course, there were also bullying claims levelled at Lea, with Samantha Ware accusing Michele of making “traumatic microaggressions” towards her on the set. She also claimed that she threatened to get her fired. 

Heather Morris backed up these claims, saying, “for Lea to treat others with the disrespect that she did for as long as she did, I believe she SHOULD be called out." 

The off-screen drama was so prominent that a docuseries called The Price of Glee was released earlier this year, covering drama, tragedy, and fallout that occurred during the making of the series. 

2. Sex and the City


From the very early days of SATC, there was reported infighting between Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall. There were a variety of tension points, with money being one of them. Allegedly, after Sarah was given an executive producer title during the second season, raising her salary to $300,000, Kim in turn negotiated for a higher salary too. It was reported that crew and cast members weren't happy with Kim for doing this, and "wouldn't even sit with [Cattrall] at mealtimes."

Despite the two regularly coming out and quashing rumours of them not being friends, Kim would later suggest that there was, indeed animosity. In an interview in 2017, she claimed that she'd "never been friends" with her co-stars, adding: 

“This is really where I take to task the people from Sex and the City, and specifically Sarah Jessica Parker. I think she could've been nicer. I really think she could've been nicer. I don't know what her issue is." 

3. Grey's Anatomy


The much-loved series wasn't without its off-screen drama. A lot of the friction was centred around Patrick Dempsey. The McDreamy actor was involved in a skirmish with costar Isaiah Washington, where it was claimed that Isaiah used an anti-gay slur. Months after the scandal, it was announced that Isaiah wouldn't return for the following season, and he spoke about his reasons for the argument. 

Isaiah claimed it was Patrick's lateness that initiated their disagreement, claiming Patrick became unhinged and "sprayed spittle" in his face – the actor also added: “I am not homophobic – in no way, shape or form.”

Other actors seemed to find it difficult working with Patrick, as producer James D. Parriott eluded to, saying the actor caused certain "HR" issues: “It wasn’t sexual in any way. He sort of was terrorising the set. Some cast members had all sorts of PTSD with him. He had this hold on the set where he knew he could stop production and scare people."

There was also animosity between Katherine Heigl, who played Izzie, and creator Shonda Rhimes. Katherine clearly had a problem with how her character was written, something she expressed when she was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2008. She withdrew herself from the nomination, saying: "[I] did not feel that I was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination". 

Shonda commented on the incident, saying: "On some level, it stung and on some level, I was not surprised. When people show you who they are, believe them."

4. Two and a Half Men


The off-screen drama on Two and a Half Men ultimately led to the killing-off of Charlie Sheen's character, and almost resulted in the show's ending. The chaos was centred around Charlie's behaviour and his public feud with writer and creator Chuck Lorre. 

Charlie continuously made incendiary comments about Chuck which created its own media storm, as Jon Cryer remembered, saying, "It was such a crazy firestorm. Even internationally, you know? It was like the biggest thing."  

Chuck and Jon sat down and discussed even ending the show, but eventually, Chuck had the idea to bring in Ashton Kutcher's character to replace Chalie. Executives officially said that Charlie's firing was due to his "dangerously self-destructive conduct." 

5. The OC


It seems as though having a bunch of young, recently very famous people all working week after week together is a recipe for tension and toxicity. 

Tate Donovan, who played Jimmy Cooper on the show opened up about how the kids' behaviour got worse, saying: "By [season three], the kids had developed a really bad attitude. They just didn't want to be doing the show anymore. It was pretty tough; they were very tough to work with."

Cam Gigandet, who played Volchok in season three concurred with Tate regarding the atmosphere on set, saying: "Those kids were fucking miserable. They were just–they would not remember their lines on purpose. They were young." 

6. Desperate Housewives


When Felicity Huffman (Lynette) was caught up in the college admissions scandal, her co-stars sent letters of support in response – these letters also gave insight into the off-screen tension that existed on the set of Desperate Housewives. 

Eva Longoria (Gabrielle) specifically called out the behaviour of one of her co-workers, who she didn't name, saying: 

“There was a time I was being bullied at work by a co-worker. I dreaded the days I had to work with that person because it was pure torture. Until one day, Felicity told the bully ‘enough’ and it all stopped. Felicity could feel that I was riddled with anxiety even though I never complained or mentioned the abuse to anyone.”

There were many stipulations over who this "bully" could be, with many suggestions that there was a long-running feud between the cast and their costar Teri Hatcher (Susan). 

Whispers only increased back in 2012 when Teri's name was left off a thank you card from the cast to the crew for all the work on the series. 

Who knows who Eva's letter was referring to, but it's safe to say things weren't great on the set of the hit series. 

7. Dr Who


Christopher Eccleston was well-liked as the Timelord, but his stint as The Doctor only lasted for one season, with him being replaced by David Tennant. The reason for his departure was a breakdown in the relationship between him and his superiors. 

In 2010, he said: "[I] didn't enjoy the environment and the culture that we, the cast and crew, had to work in. I wasn't comfortable. I thought 'If I stay in this job, I'm going to have to blind myself to certain things that I thought were wrong.' And I think it's more important to be your own man than to be successful, so I left."

He specified where it went wrong, saying: “My relationship with my three immediate superiors – the showrunner, the producer and co-producer – broke down irreparably during the first block of filming and it never recovered. They lost trust in me, and I lost faith and trust and belief in them."

8. Charmed

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The hit series fan for eight seasons, but it was certainly not a smooth ride, with much of the off-screen drama revolving around the friendships, or lack of, between the show's stars. One feud in particular, between Alyssa Milano and Shannen Doherty, led to the latter's departure from the show at the end of season three. 

On why she left, Shannen spoke about the type of actors she did want to work with, fiercely insinuating that it was Alyssa's behaviour that led to her departure, saying

"There was too much drama on the set and not enough passion for the work... I want to work with actors who really, really care and that want to be there every single day. I don't want to work with people who bitch about their job and complain about it and say that they hate it or anything else."

In came Rose McGowan, and while the on-screen transition was smooth, the off-screen drama only increased. Rose and Alyssa apparently did not get on at all, but their main feud erupted after the series was over. The two engaged in multiple Twitter back-and-forths, where they exchanged very strong insults to each other. 

One interaction saw Rose reference her time on set, saying: "I cried every time we got renewed because you made that set toxic AF. Now, get off my coattails you fucking fraud." To which Alyssa replied, "Hurt people hurt people. Empowered people empower people. Loved people love people."

9. Euphoria


The chaos off-screen during the filming of Euphoria involved the actual shooting process itself. It was reported that the production was riddled with problems and the conditions were not up to scratch. There were complaints of long shooting delays and late meals – so much so that a SAG-AFTRA union rep, who represents on-screen talent, had to turn up on set. 

There was also apparently a disagreement between creator Sam Levinson and Barbie Ferreira about the direction of her character, Kat Hernandez. The tension got so bad that Barbie reportedly walked off the set. The result was for her character's screen time and character development were significantly reduced, and she's now departed from the show. 

10. Community


The off-screen drama during the filming of Community was predominantly between or including creator Dan Harmon and actor Chevy Chase. The two had a long-running public feud which saw Dan play an angry voicemail that Chevy left him, where he calls Community a "fucking mediocre sit-com", at a comedy show. The voicemail was leaked and only increased the media frenzy around the two's relationship. 

Chevy also had to apologise after he used the N-word on set while he was expressing frustration with his character. 

In 2012, Dan was fired from the show that he created, after which he went on somewhat of a tirade against his former employees, calling the NBC Entertainment chairman, Bob Greenblatt "Darth Vadar" and saying his Sony bosses were not human. 

11. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air


This 27-year-old feud between Will Smith and Janet Hubert was undoubtedly a nasty one. Will believes that Janet's dislike of him stemmed from him being the star of the show and Janet wanting in on the action. Meanwhile, Janet accused Will of making disrespectful comments about her to the audience and ruining her career.

Allegedly, some ~horrible~ things were said by both parties, and Janet eventually left The Fresh Prince with very hard feelings. Thankfully, the pair eventually hugged it out and put everything behind them when Janet and Will appeared on Red Table Talk in 2020, but their quarrel is certainly one of the longest in the business! 

12. 24


When Freddie joined the cast of 24 in 2010, he apparently found working with Kiefer unbearable. His experience was so bad that he said it made him want to "quit the business" altogether. When asked why he took umbrage at Kiefer, Freddie said he was "the most unprofessional dude in the world". Thankfully, Freddie decided against quitting!

13. The Vampire Diaries

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Despite their character's dating, the pair did not get on offscreen! Paul has even said they were really "getting on each other’s nerves" over the first few years of filming The Vampire Diaries. Nina has also commented on having good chemistry with Paul, saying she believed it was because they disliked each other so much and "it read as love".

Thankfully, this feud didn't last longer than the first few seasons, with Paul clarifying that their bad feelings eventually developed into a "wonderful friendship".

14. Star Trek: The Original Series


Actor George Takei has said there was much comradery during the filming of the original Star Trek series. He also, however, claimed that there was one cast member that no one, particularly George, got on with: William Shatner. The two of them have had a fairly public feud for years, and it continued long after they were co-stars. 

According to George, the feud started on set, when William would simply ignore him. And then in the '80s, George said that William modified the script of Star Trek V to make sure that George's character didn't control the ship. 

George, talking about the way William behaved on set, said: “He was self-involved. He enjoyed being the centre of attention. He wanted everyone to know him.” He also responded to the question of whether anyone got on with William on the set, to which he replied, "No, none of us.”

Nichelle Nichols, who played Uhura told Wiliam that the other cast members found him "cold and arrogant."

William has said what he thinks of these comments, saying: 

"Sixty years after some incident they are still on that track. Don't you think that's a little weird? It's like a sickness. George has never stopped blackening my name. These people are bitter and embittered. I have run out of patience with them. Why give credence to people consumed by envy and hate?"

15. One Tree Hill

The WB

The atmosphere on the set of One Tree Hill was also tense, and at points toxic, although much of the conflict seems to be directed at the producers. When Sophia Bush (Brooke) and Chad Michael Murray (Lucas) broke up, Sophia said that the producers took advantage of their sanctimonious split, saying:

"There was no space to self-reflect. They ran TV ads about it, it was really ugly. They made a practice of taking advantage of people’s personal lives." She also said that when the costars would open up about personal things in their lives, these details would end up in storylines.

There were also serious sexual misconduct claims alleged towards Mark Schwahn from actor Halie Burton and writer Audrey Wauchope – which were backed up by 17 other claims from the cast. Mark never commented on the allegations.

What other shows were riddled with infighting? Let us know in the comments below!

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