At the time, Sophia says the show’s executives were trying to bring in more of a male audience, using tactics like introducing an aggressive male character and putting women in underwear.
Sophia says the magazine was an immediate “no” for her, considering she felt her character Brooke had been very “sexualized” in several storylines already.
“I was like, ‘Look, if the girls want to do it, that’s great. I don’t. I have gone to battle trying to make Brooke less of this thing that you guys tried to force me into. I don’t want to do it,'” Sophia shared.
Instead of accepting her decision, Sophia says she was told, “If you do not go and shoot this cover with your co-stars, we will guarantee you that you will never be let out for a press day, a movie, an event, any of your charities. We will keep you here for ever.”
“[He said], ‘Look, all the others hows 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?'” Sophia recalled.
She continued, “It was very much a, ‘No one else wants you, the studio wants to cancel your show. 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.’”
Despite still not wanting to do it, Sophia says it was such a “profound threat” that she felt as though she couldn’t say no at the time.
Meanwhile, Bethany says she wasn’t even asked to be a part of the cover shoot and was told she had been “replaced” by Danneel because she was “too fat.”
“They told me that they didn’t come to me because I was too fat,” Bethany shared. “I wasn’t a hot girl on the show anymore.”
The reveal came as a surprise to both Sophia and Hilarie, who say they were told Bethany had turned down the opportunity.
“When I said I don’t want to do it, I was like, ‘But Joy’s not doing it! She said no. Why does she get to say no?’ They go, ‘Well she said no, so you have to say yes. She said no first,'” Sophia claimed.
She continued, “They scapegoated you to tell the three of us we couldn’t say no…We weren’t mad at you but we were pissed about it.”
Bethany says the whole thing marked a turning point for her character and from there on out, she was treated differently than her costars.
“From that point forward, I started getting treated like, ‘Just put Joy in the category of middle-age mom. We’re gonna do the sexy stuff with everybody else. There’s nothing interesting about Joy anymore because she’s married,'” she recalled.
She added, “Apparently, they thought I was fat and boring. That was it. I got kind of replaced with Danneel — who I love. It was so weird.”