Boy Meets World Star Maitland Ward Opens Up About How She Was 'Sexualized' On The TGIF Set

Maitland Ward on Boy Meets World.
(Image credit: Disney)

Boy Meets World actress Maitland Ward has revealed a lot about what went on behind the scenes of the popular ABC sitcom. The actress, who played Rachel McGuire in Seasons 6 and 7, has previously opened up about rude on-set behavior from some of her co-stars, and she continues to talk about some of the less-than-pleasant aspects of playing a college student on the coming-of-age sitcom that aired in the network's popular Friday primetime block. One of her latest anecdotes hinges on how she was “sexualized” in the stories that were written for her character.

Maitland Ward has found success in the adult film industry over the past few years, and when she looks back at Boy Meets World, the actress told BuzzFeed it’s become clear there were certain implications about Rachel in some of her plotlines that she didn’t understand at the time — including a food fight in which she smeared marinara sauce on someone’s face with her bare feet. Ward said: 

At the time, I didn’t realize I was so sexualized. I didn’t realize the food fight was such a fetish kind of thing, like, food and feet and all this stuff going on. I didn’t realize all of the innuendos that were made in Rachel’s direction and I think the writers, and [creator Michael Jacobs] especially, really enjoyed playing with that, but then it could not be on my terms.

Other examples Maitland Ward mentioned were Rachel having to take a nude photo for a story where a sexy pic was leaked; walking around in lingerie, for which she said she was paraded through producers’ offices in different outfits; and seducing her male roommates Eric and Jack (played by Will Friedle and Matthew Lawrence). Ward thinks her character’s age played into how Michael Jacobs and the writers made decisions for Rachel, saying:

It was very, very weird. It was very weird to look back on to see how sexualized I was. I definitely think they saw it as a way to have fun finally, like they were in the college years now and they could have fun with my character. They always treated me like I was this kind of unicorn being, they all thought what does she do sexually in real life? I mean, she’s tall with legs and red hair, she’s fiery and spicy.

While Rachel’s portrayal to fans of the popular TGIF series wasn’t in her control back then, Maitland Ward definitely is doing things on her own terms now. Even while she was “sexualized” on the show, Ward said Michael Jacobs insisted she remain “chaste and the good girl” in real life, which she said was very confusing for her. Now, she’s found her happiness in porn, and she’s not apologizing for it. She said she hasn’t heard any negativity from the Boy Meets World cast about her line of work, and her TV roommate Will Friedle even voiced his support.

Maitland Ward’s book, Rated X: How Porn Liberated Me From Hollywood, is available now, and you can catch old episodes of Boy Meets World streaming with a Disney+ subscription. Also be sure to check out our 2022 TV Schedule to see what premieres are coming soon. 

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.