Danielle Fishel, best known as Topanga from the hit show “Boy Meets World,” recently opened up about the creepy behaviors she experienced as a teen in Hollywood on set
While on the “Pod Meets World podcast,” she recalled a studio executive saying he couldn’t wait until she turned 18
“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, and then I was really able to look back it and connect the dots,” she explained.
Although it took a few decades for Fishel to realize that those behaviors were not appropriate for a child, she admitted that at the time — like many teenagers — she liked being treated like an adult.
“As a kid, I always wanted to be older,” she said. “I wanted to be an adult, 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 it like 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.”
Fishel said she’s had to find a balance between being proud of her work as a young actor, while not overly romanticizing that period in her life.
“I should not have been outwardly talked about at 14, 15, 16 years old. And I was, even directly to me,” she said. “I had people tell me they had my 18th birthday on their calendar. I had a male executive, I did a calendar at 16, and he specifically told me he had a certain calendar month in his bedroom.”
Fishel isn’t the first to open up about being sexualized as a child star. Drew Barrymore, Brooke Shields and Christina Applegate have all openly discussed the pitfalls of being a young female actor.