Burton, Bush and co-star Bethany Joy Lenz revealed what went on behind the scenes years ago while recapping an old OTH episode on their Drama Queens podcast. Lenz claimed she was left out of the Maxim cover spread as she was deemed to be “too fat.”
The actresses began by explaining how the Maxim storyline was written into the fourth season as the network wanted to attract more male viewers.
In the show, Bush’s character, Brooke, takes photos of Rachel (played by Danneel Ackles) for Maxim’s “Hometown Hotties” issue. The episode aired in October 2006, one month before Bush, Burton and Ackles appeared on the cover.
Burton remembered getting pulled into a production office when she was given a “soft pitch” by higher-ups: “Look, all the other shows have been on the cover of every single magazine and no one wants you guys. No one wants you. And you finally have someone that wants you and you’re really gonna turn your nose up at that?”
“It was very much a, ‘No one else wants you, the studio wants to cancel your show, if you don’t start to generate some buzz and attract these male numbers, we’re dead and all your friends are going to lose their jobs,'” Burton added.
Bush said she pushed back as she didn’t want to do the shoot, but “was told I had to.”
“It was such a profound threat and a threat to being able to — honestly, even to have the ability to escape for a weekend, a place that at this stage, this season, I was leaving every chance I got. I would come into work and do my job and I wanted out,” Bush shared. “I wanted to go home, I wanted to be with my family. I wanted to be with my friends. I did not want to be on our set, it was not a safe place for me. This was such a threat to safety.”
Burton, Bush and Lenz accused OTH creator Mark Schwahn of harassment in 2017. Burton and Bush claimed on Sunday’s podcast that Schwahn showed up on set of the Maxim shoot and made them feel “uncomfortable”
Burton and Bush were shocked to hear their friend’s version of the events.
Lenz insinuated Schwahn was upset when she got married in 2005. She remembered later getting a script in which her character, Haley, was called “a fat girl with a little head.”