Boy Meets World's Danielle Fishel Recalls Creator Threatening to Fire Her

On an episode of Pod Meets World, Danielle Fishel recalled the time during season one that Boy Meets World creator Michael Jacobs threatened to fire her.

By Cydney Contreras Jul 29, 2022 3:36 PMTags
Watch: Boy Meets World's Danielle Fishel Was Almost Fired By Show Creator

Danielle Fishel doesn't have great memories from her first day on the Boy Meets World set.

The actress, who played Topanga Lawrence in the ABC series, recently looked back on her first-ever rehearsal for the show in an episode of the Boy Meets World rewatch podcast, Pod Meets World. At the time, she was just 12 years old and had a habit of speaking too fast, which seemingly annoyed Boy Meets World creator Michael Jacobs. She said creator gave everyone feedback at the end of rehearsals, and shared a lengthy note to Danielle before he even got to his critiques.

"Michael starts off the notes by saying, ‘Danielle, I'm going to give you your notes all at one time, at the end and I'm going to give everyone else their notes now,'" Danielle said, "'because if I made everyone sit here through all of the notes I had for you, we would all be here for hours and no one would ever get to go home. So you're just going to wait for the end.'"

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According to Danielle, who had replaced another actress that was supposed to play Topanga, Michael made the comments in front of the entire cast. "From that moment on, my eyes welled up because I'm now in front of everybody," she continued. "All the producers, all the writers, all the cast and all eyes are on me for a second."


Danielle shared that afterwards, Michael went over his notes with the actress and her mom, before ending their conversation with a warning. She recalled, "What I know specifically was said is, ‘All I know is, if you don't come back tomorrow doing this entirely differently, you are also not going to be here,' referencing the girl I had replaced."

Danielle ultimately returned to set the next day and received praise for turning things around. "There were no more threats of being fired, I had done the work and I had shown him that I was worthy," she said. "It totally sets up that you go after that every week. You're chasing the dragon of Michael approval."

Will Friedle, who played Eric Matthews, noted that this was par for the course with Michael, saying, "He set it up in such a way that when he gives you the standing ovation, it's like the sun is shining on you. It had nothing to do with your acting. It was just, make Michael feel good.'"

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Director David Trainer, who directed the first two seasons of Boy Meets World and appeared as a guest on Pod Meets World during Danielle's retelling, saying he "hated" the job because of the unpredictability. He also expressed sympathy for Danielle, who said that she was sweating just telling the story. "I'm really pissed," David said. "It's enough to make me want to sign off of this podcast. I don't want to be associated with anything that guy is associated with. This is just not how you do things. I'm glad it became a hit, but this is disgusting."

Michael hasn't publicly responded to Danielle's story yet.  

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