‘Boy Meets World’ Star Danielle Fishel Says a TV Exec Told Her He Hung Her Calendar Photo in His Bedroom

Fishel reflects on the dark realities of being a teen ‘It Girl’ that she didn’t process at the time
‘Boy Meets World’ Star Danielle Fishel Says a TV Exec Told Her He Hung Her Calendar Photo in His Bedroom

If you walked into any teenage boy’s room in the mid-1990s, you wouldn’t be surprised to see a photo of 16-year-old Topanga Lawrence from Boy Meets World hanging somewhere on the wall. But if you walked into his dad’s room and saw the same thing, “surprised” should be the least of your reactions.

At 42, Danielle Fishel has a very different outlook on her former status as — to use a disgusting but disappointingly apt phrase — a teenage “It Girl” during her time on the beloved ABC sitcom. Today, the actor hosts a Boy Meets World rewatch podcast, fittingly called Pod Meets World, in which she and her former co-stars Rider Strong and Will Friedle use each episode of the series as an excuse to reminisce and share behind-the-scenes stories from their time at the top of the teen sitcom mountain. On a recent Pod Meets World episode, Fishel reflected on the disturbing realities of becoming an unintentional “object of desire at such a young age” while she was still learning the complexities of show business, including the all-too-common phenomenon of “fans” telling her that they’ve circled her 18th birthday on their calendars.

Fishel recalled another calendar-related incident of extreme creepiness, saying, “I had a male executive — I did a calendar (shoot) at 16 — and he specifically told me he had a certain calendar month in his bedroom.”

Sadly, Fishel was unable to properly process the gravity of such an inappropriate comment made by an adult authority figure at the time, saying that her “immediate thought after that was, ‘Yes, because we are peers, and this is how you relate to peers.’” Like too many stars of her time, Fishel bought into the timeless deception that pedophilic adults have used on the underaged subjects of their desire, saying that she let the men in her working world convince her that she was mature for her age and old enough for their affection.

“As a kid, I always wanted to be older. I always wanted to be an adult,” Fishel explained. “I wanted to be seen as an adult. So getting adult male attention as a teenage girl — I didn’t think of it as being creepy or weird. I felt like it was validation that I was mature and I was an adult and I was capable and that they were seeing me the way I was, not for the number on a page. And in hindsight, that is absolutely wrong.”

Since Fishel’s time as a teen star, she’s had the space to reflect on the dark realities of her former circumstances that she couldn’t see in the moment, saying, “I didn’t really process how it affected me as a teenager — or how it affected me in my 20s or even in my 30s — up until the last few years. Then I was really able to look back on it and connect the dots.”

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