“Beverly Hills, 90210” wasn’t all good for Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling.
Garth touched on the atmosphere on set during an episode of “9021OMG” podcast with fellow alum Spelling.
“These are our recollections, these are our memories, this was our experience,” Garth said. “It was probably much different than… the guys’ experience or anyone else’s experience.”
“So often we fall into the trap of trying to tell a story that everybody’s going to digest well, that it’s going to be politically correct to say, people are going to still like us even when we say it, but there are still parts of our experience that weren’t great and that’s okay and it’s okay for us to talk about it now, too, and it’s okay for other people to share their experiences.”
Garth, without getting into specifics, touched on how she had to navigate the work environment.
“It’s not necessarily what they did to us but what we as young people did to ourselves, like, our interpretation of what was happening at that time because we were all so young and so… unguided in that environment, that grown-up, mature environment.
“Being completely left on our own for days, full days of whatever happened. There’s so much that happened that sort of taught us and shaped us as women as young girls, as now as women and not all of it was great.”
Garth explained why it was important for her not to get too specific with her experiences.
“Tori and I do try to tell the truth, but at the same time, not let people in too far to see the sordid parts,” she said, “because we want everybody to love the characters and love the show, but we also have our own experiences.”
Garth admitted the experience had an impact on her behaviour.
“A lot of what happened on that set shaped us in all directions, but I think as a young girl, maybe I was like, blame it on the guys, too,” she said. “It brought out a super-competitive part of me being in that environment of being judged by because of my looks or how I looked in an outfit.
“It was just a different day and age and it gave us young girls a lot of mixed messages. If I’m honest, I think it kind of taught me to be threatened by other girls, be threatened by other women. Be more competitive because I wanted our co-stars’ approval or attention. It messed with me on a deeper level.”
Eventually, Garth had an epiphany.
“Not until later in life did I kind of think it wasn’t ever about the other girls,” she expressed. “And why did I ever make the other girls the enemy in my mind?”