All things considered, Entourage creator Doug Ellin has had a pretty charmed career. After all, he got seven years out of a show in which basically every problem was solved by Kanye West showing up with a private plane and saying, “I heard you guys need a ride.” Ellin even beat the Community special by making eight seasons and a movie —even if he admits that that movie was a little disappointing. It’s the kind of success that one of his characters would dream of and then attain. So it should come as no surprise that he spent a good chunk of an interview with Yahoo! complaining about a retroactive backlash towards the show spurred by, you guessed it, “PC culture.”
He’s not entirely off base. Entourage was a really successful, critically acclaimed show that, like nearly every other comedy ever produced, fails to stand the test of time for some viewers. “I don’t think Entourage was this vulgar boy-fest that people like to paint it as now,” Ellin told Yahoo Entertainment. “When we came out, the New York Times said we were the smartest show on television! If we did reboot the show, it’s not that I would make it any more PC, but I would write it to the best of my abilities to reflect the reality of the world right now.”
Ellin sees his show as an “extremely realistic depiction” of Hollywood at the time, and modern audiences should like the show because of that. While he believes Entourage was ultimately about family and friends, and not wearing aviators and banging models or whatever, he says an “overcorrection” happened (which usually means #MeToo), and there’s no space to create art like Entourage without being “judged so harshly.”
He also compares his show to The Sopranos, which seems to garner new fans every year. He says that he doesn’t understand why the murderous New Jersey gangsters get a pass (answer: The Sopranos is critical of its characters and, at the very least, attempts to deglamorize them). “Nobody says that about The Sopranos, where they murder people, that maybe we should readdress whether murdering people on TV is OK.” He goes on to blame “a wave of righteous PC culture” at HBO that’s preventing him from getting another show and preventing Entourage from being included in “must-see comedy” lists on streaming platforms. “For a while, we were hiding in, like, ‘wish-fulfillment shows,’” he said. “We were nominated for the Emmys or the Golden Globes almost every single year, so to not put us on the must-see comedy list was pretty bizarre.”
If you’re saying to yourself, “Doug, please stop. Just move on from this.” Well, he’s tried, and apparently “PC culture”’s retroactive backlash is stopping him. “I did a pilot with Michael Imperioli, Michael Rappaport and Ed Burns that [HBO] passed on, which I’ll never forgive them for,” he said. Whether they thought it was good or not, I earned my chance to have a second shot, and they put some other pretty crappy shows on [instead].” We can only assume that one of those shows was Ballers.