‘7th Heaven’: Was Jessica Biel Fired from the Show? ‘I Was Always Apologizing’

Though Jessica Biel started her career by performing in musicals, she became a Hollywood star when she was cast in 7th Heaven. The show, which followed a Protestant minister and his large family, ran a whopping 11 seasons. Though it was clear that Biel was an important member of the cast during the first several seasons of the show, her time on the show continued to dwindle until she was rarely, if ever, seen. But what was the reason for this?

7th Heaven cast
7th Heaven cast | Mirek Towski/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images

Because Biel was such an important part of the 7th Heaven, cast fans took note when her character was no longer a focal point. People began to wonder if there was drama on set or even if Biel had quietly been fired from the show? But what actually went down?

Jessica Biel broke her ‘7th Heaven’ contract with a haircut

Biel first started making waves when she decided to cut her hair and dye it blonde. While experimenting with hair color is a perfectly normal thing for teenagers to do, it’s a little trickier for teenage actors. As actors are portraying characters, they are typically prohibited from making any drastic appearances to their appearance. Since a typical television contract is generally for seven years, Biel had a hard time following it strictly during her tenure on 7th Heaven.

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“We really had to sort of stay in the boundaries of a somewhat religious family and teaching lessons, and when ya know you’re 16, 14, 15, 16, you get to a point when you’re like ‘Oh man, I just want to do something different.'” Biel revealed about her experience of 7th Heaven on the Awards Chatter podcast. “I just want to cut my hair, and I just want to dye it a different color and I can’t do all these things because I have this contract.”

Biel made waves with a topless photoshoot for Gear magazine

Despite her ironclad contract, Biel decided to take a risk and dye her hair anyway. Unfortunately, her decision didn’t go over well with the 7th Heaven producers and she was pressured to apologize. “I had to apologize to everybody, which is sort of the theme of my experience on 7th Heaven,” Biel recalled. “I was always apologizing.”

Tensions on the 7th Heaven set got even higher when 17-year-old Biel made the decision to pose topless for the cover of Gear Magazine. The decision didn’t go over well for Biel on set and another member of the cast even spoke out against the cover calling it “child pornography.” Once again, Biel had to apologize for her decision.

Was the actor fired from the ‘7th Heaven’ cast?

“I certainly had to apologize to Aaron Spelling [a producer for 7th Heaven],” Biel recalled. “I think my entire crew and cast were, needless to say, shocked. The worst part was I had to go back to work. The thing comes out and literally I had to go back to work that next morning. Everybody was… they didn’t know if they should look me in the eye and I was just a mess. I didn’t…you’re young. You don’t mean to hurt people. You don’t mean to do this.”

Biel continued on to share that the adult photoshoot wasn’t calculated, but rather her embracing her newfound womanhood. Though her intentions may have been pure, her decisions led to her getting more or less written off of 7th Heaven in the show’s 5th season. Though she would reprise her role sporadically for two more seasons and make special guest appearances in a couple of episodes in later seasons, it’s fair to say Biel’s decisions cost her a series regular title. Still, Biel has gone on to have a successful career, so clearly, it didn’t hurt things too much in the long run.