HBO denies allegations that the production of the second season of Euphoria was “toxic.”
On Friday, March 4, the network issued an apparent response to a Daily Beast report, published the same day, in which anonymous background actors denounced multiple SAG-AFTRA violations and “hellish” conditions. In a statement to E! News, an HBO spokesperson stated, “The well-being of the cast and crew in our productions is always a priority.”
And they continued, “The production fully complied with all safety guidelines and guild protocols. It’s not uncommon for drama series to have complex filming, and COVID protocols add an extra layer.”
Those who worked as extras for the New Year’s Eve party, featured in episode one of the second season, spoke to the Daily Beast about conditions on set, claiming they “didn’t have a proper waiting area for the extras” who were left with “two space heaters” while filming overnight in “cold conditions.” In addition, several sources told the Daily Beast that the supporting actors were not given food after working for six hours, as required by SAG-AFTRA.
After filing complaints, the supporting actors said, “a union representative was sent to the set to ensure union guidelines were followed.”
When contacted by the Daily Beast, a SAG-AFTRA spokesperson could not comment on the details of the complaint, but said in a statement, “Advocating for the work categories of professional artists, such as supporting actors, and enforcing contractual provisions is one of SAG-AFTRA’s primary goals.”
They added that their National Department of Field Services employees acts as liaisons to ensure that artists, even those who are not members, receive the protections required by the union.
And! News reached out to SAG-AFTRA for comment but received no response.
Although Sydney Sweeney, Maude Apatow, and other cast members expressed that filming the series is hard work, the stars praised HBO for providing them with intimacy coordinators and other resources during production. Jacob Elordi recently said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that the intimacy coordinator is attentive “to the point where you say, ‘Yeah, yeah, I’m fine.'”
Not to mention, a source close to the production told E! News, “These claims couldn’t be further from the truth. The Euphoria set is a wonderful place to come to work. It seems that someone has an act of revenge and wants to stain the show.”
Seasons one and two of Euphoria are now airing on HBO Max.