After publishing an investigative report on the allegedly tumultuous behind-the-scenes conditions of Euphoria in February, The Daily Beast posted a follow-up exposé on Friday morning. This time, the piece featured accounts from anonymous background actors and production crew involved in the HBO series’ second season.
The background actors allege that they worked under unfair conditions that included not getting proper lunch or bathroom breaks. “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,” says one of the show’s extras.
Another adds, “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.”
The meal break situation, which allegedly involved cast and crew being fed “far past the six-hour mark that SAG-AFTRA mandates” was subject to so many complaints that, according to sources in the Daily Beast piece, a SAG-AFTRA union rep visited the set.
A production member also said that showrunner and director Sam Levinson’s lack of organization affected the production negatively. The production member alleged that Levinson didn’t even having a shot list put together.
HBO has now responded to these claims. In statement, per Variety, HBO says there were “never any formal inquiries raised.”
The full statement reads: “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.”
HBO has already renewed Euphoria for a third season.