Bonnie Morgan, 'Boy Meets World's Original Topanga, Claims She Was Fired Because She Was Not Pretty Enough

Bonnie Morgan
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

The actress who was originally cast as Topanga on 'Boy Meets World' has spoken out about her experience and how she lost the role.

Before fans came to know Danielle Fishel as Topanga on Boy Meets World, there was Bonnie Morgan. 

As viewers know today, Fishel portrayed Topanga Lawrence through all seven seasons of the hit ABC sitcom, but that was not originally the case. Instead, Morgan, a fellow child actress, had landed the role, but was swiftly fired. Three decades later, Morgan recalled the sequence of events to Fishel, Will Friedle and Rider Strong on the Monday episode of their joint podcast, Pod Meets Worldand, notably, the alleged reason she was really let go from the role. 

Morgan remembered having multiple callbacks for the job before being cast and noticed the script would continue to change, seemingly to reflect their conversations with her. After officially landing the role at around 12 years old, the actress described her first day on set as the "weirdest day of my life." She claimed the adults were short with her and that they put her in a frumpy costume despite the fact that she had brought in clothes for the character as options. She also accused Ben Savage, who famously played Cory Matthews for the entire series, of making faces to try to break her and mocking her lines back to her. 

As for David Trainer, who directed most of the episodes in the first and second seasons, Morgan claimed he took issue with how she said a line and wanted her to say it sweeter. At one point, she claimed, he got really close to her and demanded she wish him a happy birthday in the sweet tone he was insisting on. 

"It was the strangest day on set I had ever had," she described. "I went home and knew nothing." 

While she was expecting to return to work the following Monday after that Friday rehearsal, the phone rang at home the next morning and Morgan learned she had been fired for not taking direction. However, according to Morgan, her agent eventually learned that Trainer allegedly did not think she was pretty enough. 

"That meant that a grown-up, a man, a boss could lie about me and tell me I was untalented because the fact was he didn’t think I was pretty. Live with that," Morgan said. "I’m taking away the thing you want most in the world that was all but written for you -- it’s because you’re not talented. Sorry, I lied. It's just 'cause you're not pretty."

During a previous appearance on Pod Meets World, Trainer recalled the day on set with Morgan and said he called colleagues to tell them it was a disaster. "We've got to get rid of her," he remembered saying of Morgan. Strong similarly recalled the whole episode being a "disaster" at that point and remembered Morgan not being able to "adjust."

"There’s sort of problems that you think you can solve and then there's problems that you think you can't solve," Trainer told the co-hosts, "and sort of by working with her, she moved from one camp to the other camp. To the insoluble camp."

Though Fishel had been cast in time to report to work on that Monday as the new Topanga, Morgan said she did not know who got the job until the episode aired. All these years later, Fishel's takeaway of their "inextricably linked" stories is that the criticisms both actresses faced in those early days had very little to actually do with them. Fishel has previously claimed creator Michael Jacobs threatened she would be fired if she didn't take his notes and correct her performance.

"It was another storyline that was playing out behind the scenes and we were just characters in the play," Fishel said on the podcast, "and we never would have known that had we not talked."