Melissa Joan Hart won the hearts of both young males and girls in the 1996 comedy “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.”
Even though the “Melissa & Joey” star was just 20 when she first debuted on the program, which had its foundation in the Archie Comics protagonist of the same name, she yearned for more adult roles as the ABC series evolved.
In contrast, the now-47-year-old’s enchanted, spotless image was tainted when she went half-naked for the front cover of Maxim magazine in 1999 — and she received the accusation of violating her TV contract as a result.
On top of all that, she was almost fired.
On the most current episode of the “Boy Meets World” recap podcast “Pod Meets World,” she said she realized that she was going to be sued by the television network at the opening of her 1999 rom-com “Drive Me Crazy,” referring to it the “worst day” of her whole life.
What Really Happened?
Hart turned her Sabrina popularity into a lead part in the adolescent comedy Drive Me Crazy in 1999. On that night of the film’s premiere, ABC officials were furious when they discovered Hart, then 23, had appeared on the front page of Maxim.
Hart discovered she was getting “sued and fired” by Sabrina the Teenage Witch while toasting her new project at a Planet Hollywood celebration.
“At the launch celebration, my legal representative pulls up and inquires, ‘You did a photo shoot for Maxim magazine?” Hart remembered.
“I was like, ‘Yes, I did.'” ‘Well, you’re getting sued and kicked from your program,’ they say. So don’t speak to the press and don’t do anything at all.”
“So I received a phone call on my mobile phone from my mom, who is my producer, who responded by asking, ‘What did you do?'” she went on.
And I replied by saying, ‘I have no idea whatever my publicist ordered me to do…at the picture shoot. I did a picture session for Maxim! It’s Maxim, of course. You’ll be in your underwear.”
Hart claimed that the magazine’s usage of her “Sabrina” character’s identity breached a stipulation in the agreement she signed with Archie Comics, the owner of the comic book franchise on which the television series was centered.
Hart was in violation of her agreements with Archie Comics, which controlled the exclusive rights to the ABC series, as stated by the network since she agreed upon a contract claiming that she “would never portray the role [of Sabrina] naked.”
What Did Melissa Joan Hart Do To Resolve The Problem?
“So here they had been considering I’m in breach since I’m playing their character,” she explained.
“No, that was intended to be me advertising my upcoming movie [‘Drive Me Crazy], not the character. I had no say in what was written on the cover.”
So, how did she manage to repair the spell gone wrong?
Melissa stated that the situation was ‘all gone’ after drafting an apology letter but conceded that the drama surrounding the cover photo helped create major exposure for the film’s release.
‘[They were questioning] “Can Melissa be sexy?’ she remarked, breaking down the talks that took place at the time.
Is she permitted to be seductive at the age of 23? What exactly is going on here? Is it legal? Is it all right? “What caused her to be dismissed from her series?”
And then there’s the drama. It helped her Drive Me Crazy become a great hit.’
Melissa also said during the conversation that the night was not without turmoil, as she had been sacked from her part in Scary Movie and had previously separated from her boyfriend in the day.
Melissa spoke about the repercussions of the shot on the Unzipped podcast last year, stating that she later turned down a proposal from Playboy after her father and brother had experienced having ‘people come up to them’, presenting them her Maxim cover.