HBO Defends “Euphoria” Against The Allegations Of A “Hellish” Work Environment

March 5, 2022 / Posted by:

Last month, The Daily Beast posted a piece about the messiness going down behind the scenes of Euphoria, including creator Sam Levinson allegedly cutting the screen time of Barbie Ferriera, who plays Kat Hernandez, after the two had a fight about where her character was going. A week after Euphoria‘s season 2 finale aired, The Daily Beast did a follow-up article with more stories from crew members and background actors about how things behind-the-scenes of the show are messier than Jules’ bathroom wastebasket after she takes off all that fairy raver makeup at the end of the night. And those who have heard cast members Sydney Sweeney, Minka Kelly, and Chloe Cherry talk about how they had to push back against filming unnecessary nude scenes are probably bracing themselves for sexual harassment allegations. But these allegations are from anonymous crew members and background actors who say that they’re expected to work long ass hours with not enough breaks and that production is very disorganized since Sam Levinson likes to shoot “off the cuff.” But of course, HBO is defending their second most-watched show of all time because DUH!

Several background actors and crew members tell The Daily Beast that working on the show is “hellish” and some described the behind-the-scenes environment as being “toxic.” Each episode reportedly takes a month to shoot, and sources say that shooting days sometimes last 18 hours without enough breaks. After several complaints were made to SAG-AFTRA, a rep from the union visited the set to make sure that the show was following all guidelines. But sources say that the turnaround for background extras on Euphoria is crazy because extras keep “dropping like flies” over the shit conditions. via The Daily Beast:

“I understand that I’m doing background work,” one background actor told The Daily Beast. “I’m not the most important person there, I know where I am on the totem pole. But it got to a point where I was like, I’m still a person, I’m still human. Please let me go to the restroom, don’t tell me I can’t go for 30 minutes or tell me I can’t get a snack when you’re not going to feed me and it’s 4 a.m. It just very much felt like we didn’t exist as people.”

“It was the most disorganized set that I’ve ever been a part of because I don’t think anybody knew what was going on,” another added. “There were times after 14 hours we were told, ‘This is the last scene, we’re done after lunch,’ we took lunch, waited around two and a half hours, and then we went back to set. It felt toxic to me because I don’t think anybody was really happy to be there.”

Other sources say that the long hours are due to Sam Levinson and the show’s cinematographer Marcell Rév not knowing what they want and coming up with ideas on the fly, which is annoying to the crew and background extras (who don’t have a fancy trailer to wait in). Sources say that background extras really don’t want to be picked for scenes because they don’t want to be stuck on set while waiting for hours to shoot.

“The shot list was a big part of it,” one production source said. “Him and Marcell would be talking, and it would be literally like, ‘How do you like that corner over there? Do you think she should just walk by it?’ ‘Yeah, why not, let’s film it.’ Then it takes 30 minutes for them to reset the camera, the tracks, and they’re using real film in these cameras. The conversations between the two were kind of like if it was a hobby that was fun. You know, ‘What do you think it would look like? Let’s just try this.’ These are details that should really be gone over in the beginning. We should know what the next move is.”

“[Background actors] were hiding in the bushes so that way they didn’t have to go on set,” they added. “There were literally people hiding so they didn’t get chosen to go into these background scenes, because there was no direction. You don’t know how long you’re going to be on set—it might take 30 minutes, but it might be three hours. Because again, there’s no sense of what we are doing.”

Jacob Elordi, who plays Nate on the show, recently defended the long hours to Variety, saying that each episode is basically a movie and that “working long hours is like the greatest joy. And they just they take care of us. That’s my family.” But again, Jacob gets to wait in a fancy trailer complete with a pot to piss in. HBO also defended one of their biggest moneymakers and claim that they haven’t received any formal complaints, via Variety:

“The well-being of cast and crew on our productions is always a top priority. The production was in full compliance with all safety guidelines and guild protocols. It’s not uncommon for drama series to have complex shoots, and COVID protocols add an additional layer. We maintain an open line of communication with all the guilds, including SAG-AFTRA. There were never any formal inquiries raised.”

Hearing that Sam Levinson comes up with shit on the spot is not shocking since season 2 ended with plot lines being forgotten about. I mean, I’m still wondering how season 2 ended with all of Rue’s limbs intact since she owes that drug dealer $10,000! They could’ve easily wrapped that plot line up with a 2-second scene where Rue goes to Speedy Cash or Check Into Cash to get a quickie loan to pay that dealer off. Although, after hearing about Sam’s messy process, it would’ve taken 2 weeks to film that 2-second scene.

Pic: HBO

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