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    Cassie Steele And Miriam McDonald Recalled Challenging "Degrassi" Storylines And Some They Wish Happened Differently

    "I just really wish that more could've been done."

    Degrassi's Cassie Steele and Miriam McDonald have reflected on their years playing Manny and Emma, the Canadian show's original, complicated BFF duo, a couple of times in recent weeks.

    Miriam McDonald and Cassie Steele speak at a "Degrassi" panel
    Che Rosales / Getty Images

    First, the former screen partners and real-life friends shared memories about filming and growing up as young actors in Toronto during an initial Instagram Live chat last month. It took place shortly after a wider Degrassi cast reunion at the ATX Television Festival.

    The reunion coincided with Degrassi's 20th anniversary, and saw its stars looking back on the long running, coming-of-age ensemble series.

    Miriam McDonald, Cassie Steele, Shane Kippel, and Jake Epstein speak at a "Degrassi" panel
    Che Rosales / Getty Images

    Cassie and Miriam picked up where they left off during their preliminary chat in a follow up conversation on Instagram Live one week later.

    Cassie recalled the body shaming that her character endured during one of the show's earlier episodes, when Manny tried to break into acting.

    Cassie Steele speaks at a panel event
    Brian De Rivera Simon / Getty Images

    "It hit close to home, and when you're a teenager, it can do a lot to your confidence," Cassie said.

    Miriam critiqued the show's handling of her character's eating disorder, and said she doesn't believe it "was done justice" on Degrassi. "That is such a massive issue for me," she continued, and explained her personal investment in this part of Emma's story.

    "My sister passed away after 15 years with a very serious eating disorder, so I think that the small way that the episodes glossed over it were, in my opinion, almost a disservice," the actor said. Miriam also shared that her own experiences with an eating disorder influenced how she viewed Degrassi's approach to the subject.

    Miriam McDonald appears at a "Degrassi" panel event
    Brian De Rivera Simon / Getty Images

    "It's not something I've really talked about, my experiences in the early seasons with an eating disorder of my own," she said. "It's not something I've wanted to talk about just mainly because I, in no way, ever wanted to glorify that. Having gone through it so personally, I just really wish that more could've been done with them."

    You can watch Cassie and Miriam's full Instagram Live Q&A above.

    For more information about eating disorders and resources that can help, visit the National Eating Disorders Association or the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. If you need to talk to someone right now, call NEDA's hotline at (800) 931-2237 or text "NEDA" 741-741 to connect with a trained volunteer at Crisis Text Line

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