Rose McGowan Pens Lengthy Note of Support to Shannen Doherty, Fellow ‘Charmed’ Alum, Amid Cancer Battle

Shannen Doherty Rose McGowan
Shannen Doherty and Rose McGowan at Elaine's Restaurant in New York Feb, 29, 2004. Sylvain Gaboury/FilmMagic

Mending their friendship. Rose McGowan penned a lengthy note of support to Shannen Doherty amid her cancer battle. 

When Doherty, 45, left Charmed after three seasons, McGowan, 43, was brought in as her replacement in 2001. The move created a rumored rivalry between the two women, and in her post, McGowan slammed Hollywood for putting them at odds.

“As young women we were pitted against each other for society's pleasure,” the Jawbreaker actress wrote on Instagram Tuesday, September 13. "The rules of Hollywood engagement brainwashed into us were truly vile. The men & brainwashed women in our business made it so we couldn't be friends, I regret that. We were cast in this weird fake reality show where we were supposed to be enemies. I resented it greatly. I regret not being awake enough to articulate this to you at the time.”

McGowan explained that she was scared of saying or doing the wrong thing on the Charmed set, because she didn’t want to be cast out as Doherty had been. Doherty also left Beverly Hills, 90210, after four seasons for rumored feuding. "Fear was drilled into me from day one in this town & you were the barometer by which my behavior was judged. I was under a microscope, one false move and I'd be branded 'difficult' just like you,” she wrote. "The Bad Girl Shaming you received at the hands of the media was merciless. … I had to prove I wasn't as bad as you or I'd get the axe, too. But we were never the bad ones, it was them., the Beige Brained White Dudes in Charge."

Dear @theshando Someone made this of us & I wanted to share it with you as it made me reflect. We have a funny history. As young women we were pitted against each other for society's pleasure. The rules of Hollywood engagement brainwashed into us were truly vile. The men & brainwashed women in our business made it so we couldn't be friends, I regret that. We were cast in this weird fake reality show where we were supposed to be enemies. I resented it greatly. I regret not being awake enough to articulate this to you at the time. Fear was drilled into me from day one in this town & you were the barometer by which my behavior was judged. I was under a microscope, one false move and I'd be branded 'difficult' just like you. I think we all know what happens when girls here get out of line. I willfully remained enigmatic & unengaged. The Bad Girl Shaming you received at the hands of the media was merciless. Global media shaming is real AF, as you know. Fuck them all & their machine, too. You cast a long shadow over my life. We were both cast in a fake real life role, that of the Bad Girl. I had to prove I wasn't as bad as you or I'd get the axe, too. But we were never the bad ones, it was them., the Beige Brained White Dudes in Charge. Well fuck them. Damn them for fucking with our minds & careers just because their misogynistic belief systems couldn't sanction two strong females in a traditionally subservient role- actress. I refused to give them the cat fight they so wanted. Shannen, we didn't know it yet, but we were the good ones. Two boss young women that scared the 'faux-liberals in provincial Hollywood, for that sin we got burned at the media stake, egged on by Hollywood who believe the press they start. There was a strongly inferred threat of me being blacklisted in tv as I'd been in film. Instead of understanding that we were a different breed, they tried to crush us, but they couldn't. I send you strength. ⚒?#rosearmy #BRAVE #shannendoherty #typos4life

A post shared by Rose McGowan (@rosemcgowan) on

The pair never actually feuded, though, McGowan insisted. "I refused to give them the cat fight they so wanted. Shannen, we didn't know it yet, but we were the good ones,” she wrote. "There was a strongly inferred threat of me being blacklisted in tv as I'd been in film. Instead of understanding that we were a different breed, they tried to crush us, but they couldn't. I send you strength.”

Doherty was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2015. She underwent a single mastectomy in May but revealed in August that the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes. The actress has been documenting her fight on Instagram, sharing emotional moments such as shaving her head.

Doherty is nearly finished with her chemotherapy and radiation treatments and previously told Entertainment Tonight that she’s finding the silver lining in her situation. “I could not have gotten through this without my husband [Kurt Iswarienko],” she said. “My marriage was always strong, but it’s made my marriage a thousand times stronger.” 

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