Gossip Girl showrunner says HBO reboot will not emphasise ‘wealth porn’

‘These kids wrestle with their privilege in a way that I think the original didn’t’

Rachel Brodsky
Los Angeles
Monday 21 June 2021 23:46
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When HBO Max’s rebooted Gossip Girl premieres on 8 July, audiences might notice a key difference in how wealth is portrayed versus the original series.

According to showrunner Joshua Safran, the continuation will go out of its way to avoid emphasising the characters' wealth.

“These kids wrestle with their privilege in a way that I think the original didn’t,” Safran told Variety. “In light of [Black Lives Matter], in light of a lot of things, even going back to Occupy Wall Street, things have shifted.”

“I think the first [Gossip Girl] showed a little bit of wealth porn or privilege porn, like, ‘Look at these cars, or here’s a montage of the best plated food you’ve ever seen,’” he added.

The aspirational element to this edition of Gossip Girl, he clarified, will be “more in wanting to be like the characters and less having what they have.”

The first trailer for HBO Max’s revamped show, starring an all-new cast with a few familiar faces as well, was released earlier in June.

The series is scheduled to debut in July, but sources claiming to have previewed the first few episodes have shared some insight into what to expect.

Gossip Girl first aired in 2007 and ran for six seasons, concluding in 2012. The series regularly sparked controversy among conservative critics, including the Christian Parents Television Council, who denounced the exploits of its teenage characters.

The show’s original creators – Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage – and executive producer Safran have all returned for the reboot.

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The lead cast includes Emily Alyn Lind, Thomas Doherty, Jordan Alexander, Savannah Lee Smith, Evan Mock and Zión Moreno.

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Safran described the series as a “continuation” of the original show, rather than a remake, with the events still taking place on the Upper East Side in Manhattan, New York.

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