Why Shannen Doherty left Beverly Hills 90210

Shannen Doherty is beloved for her roles in Heathers, Beverly Hills, 90210, and Charmed, but sometimes her off-screen persona eclipsed her work. This was particularly true when she departed from 90210 and Charmed before both shows came to an end. As a result, rumors swirled that Doherty was difficult to work with. 

In 2000, cast members and producers reflected on Doherty's 90210 exit during an interview with Entertainment Weekly. Executive producer Charles Rosin claimed that Doherty had a "callous" attitude about the show, reflected in the fact that she was "habitually" late. "She was clearly not very happy on this show anymore," he said. Doherty concurred, "There was definitely a time that I did not want to be there. I was unhappy."

She continued, "It sounds odd to say that I was on a hit show making a lot of money and I was unhappy, because it makes me sound unappreciative — I wasn't." But as a growing young teenager, it was just too much for Doherty to have a camera in her face 24 hours a day. Producer Aaron Spelling recalled that, while Doherty's lateness far from ruined the show, it did "upset the cast members tremendously." 

Although everyone has been late at some point in life, Doherty's alleged tardiness was infamous.

Shannen Doherty addressed the lateness rumors years later

In 2000, Beverly Hills, 90210 executive producer Charles Rosin told Entertainment Weekly about one particularly egregious instance of Shannon Doherty's tardiness.

Doherty had "showed up late two days before, so they were remaking a shot at 7:45 in the morning," Rosin said. "Everybody was there, and she didn't show up until 9:45. Once Jason Priestley said, 'I've had it,' it was the beginning of the end." 

However, Doherty begs to differ. "There are things that I would call bulls—, and [the lateness charge] is probably one of them," she told the outlet. "I was late maybe four times in four years. A bunch of times [other cast members] were extremely late. I don't think that lateness had anything to do with it." 

In a 2019 People interview, Doherty admitted, "I have felt misunderstood my whole life. She remarked, "Somebody had a problem with me being late, but perhaps they didn't know I was late because my dad was in the hospital, or maybe because I was in a horrible marriage. I didn't share, or I wasn't asked. I'm not saying it was all a misunderstanding, but a large portion of it was a misunderstanding." The actress revealed, "I mentioned what I was personally going through back then and some of the cast members went, 'Oh my God, what?'" 

If only she'd opened up back in the day. That might have made a major difference.

Tori Spelling said she got Shannen Doherty fired

In October 2015, Shannen Doherty's Beverly Hills, 90210 co-star Tori Spelling shared some major confessions during a one-hour Lifetime special called Tori Spelling: Celebrity Lie Detector. According to Us Weekly, Spelling claimed that Doherty and Jennie Garth got into a physical altercation on set, saying, "I could hear the door fly open and everyone screaming and crying." She added that the pair's "fistfight" had to be broken up by male castmates.

At one point, Tori called her dad, Aaron Spelling, about Doherty's alleged behavior, and Doherty was written out of the series. Tori admitted, "I felt like I was a part of something, a movement, that cost someone their livelihood." She even remarked, "Was she a horrible person? No. She was one of the best friends I ever had." Even though she had positive experiences with Doherty as a friend, Tori insisted it was the right move to stop working with her professionally.

During a 2019 Watch What Happens Live appearance, Garth confirmed that "the guys held [them] back" during that fight, but she denied actually hurting Doherty. Spelling claimed that the women started arguing after Doherty pulled up Garth's skirt. 

Doherty has never won a "Miss Congeniality" award on set, but her dismissal from the show wasn't solely based on the friction with her co-stars. It actually had a lot to do with hair! Yes, hair. 

Shannen Doherty's haircut had major consequences

In a 2010 interview, Beverly Hills, 90210 writer-producer Larry Mollin praised Shannen Doherty for her talent and photographic memory, in addition to blaming the end of Brenda Walsh on Doherty's unauthorized haircut. He claimed that "in the middle of a show, she cut her hair and totally screwed us up for continuity so everyone was pissed off at her." 

Mollin explained that before actors make any drastic hair changes, "they'd have to clear it with us because so much of it has to do with continuity. When you're doing two [episodes] at a time, you had to be careful. They would run it by us and we had very good hair people and wardrobe people."

He added, "It was always tough, though. That's why when Shannen did that one thing with cutting her hair in the middle of the show without asking anybody, that really screwed everybody up and kind of created the atmosphere that, when the push came to get rid of her, no one resisted." 

Most likely, a surprise haircut was not the sole reason Doherty was written out of the series, but it seems like neglecting to run that decision by production might have been the final straw.

Her reputation plagued the 90210 reboot in 2019

Unfortunately, Shannen Doherty's "difficult" reputation followed her decades after she left the show. In May 2019, Variety reported that the showrunner and some of the writers quit BH90210, the Beverly Hills, 90210 reboot, because of "interference from two of the show's lead actresses," according to one source. Radar Online also reported that Shannen Doherty was "putting her two cents in with the production, the writers, etc." The outlet even claimed that it took her a long time to sign on for the project "because she had many questions before they even started shooting."

Doherty shared a screenshot of the Radar Online article, writing, "There [have] been many stories floating around about this show and me. One of the reasons I hesitated to say yes was for this crap. The only thing I'm a control freak over is my health. Trying to stay healthy and positive. I realized this morning, that I have a fear of doing what I love because of headlines like this."

She claimed, "Not only because there is zero truth to it but because it lessens me and my journey, battle, experience with cancer. Why should I be scared to work? And why aren't people held accountable for their fabricated stories? I refuse to be cast in the same villain role because 'journalists' lack imagination and I certainly refuse to be cheapened as a survivor and as a woman by them." (Radar Online seemingly edited the article after Doherty's screenshot.)

Most people are able to escape their teenage reputations, but, unfortunately for Doherty, she still hasn't been able to get a clean slate many years later.