HBO pushed back against a recent report about the set conditions on Euphoria, saying the show was in “full compliance with all safety guidelines and guild protocols.”
The statement arrived after The Daily Beast published a piece in which multiple sources claimed production on the hit TV show was plagued by everything from long shooting days to late meals. Per the report, enough complaints were made that a union rep for SAG-AFTRA — which represents on-screen talent — turned up on set.
HBO rebuffed these claims, however, stating, “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.”
A rep for SAG-AFTRA said, “Advocating for professional performer work categories like background actors and enforcing contractual provisions is one of SAG-AFTRA’s core functions. This includes the routine enforcement of contracts at the worksite through our National Field Services Department which is charged with resolving any on-set violations by working with the company’s production staff members to immediately correct the issue(s) in connection with performers’ employment. All actors should benefit from the protections our members enjoy, and production companies signed to our agreements need to follow our safety protocols, wage and hour rules, and other protections — regardless of an actor’s union status.”
According to The Daily Beast, production days on Euphoria could sometimes last as long as 18 hours. Background actors and extras alleged that meals weren’t delivered on time — a fineable offense under SAG-AFTRA rules — and that there wasn’t a proper holding area for the extras.
Blame for much of the disorganization and delays was laid on Euphoria’s creator and director, Sam Levinson. In particular, background actors said Levinson and cinematographer Marcell Rév did not work off of a pre-determined shot list and would often spend time composing scenes and different shots on the fly.
Additionally, there were reports that Levinson clashed with one of Euphoria’s stars, Barbie Ferreira, over the direction of her character. Tensions reportedly got high enough that Ferreira walked off set and Levinson, in turn, cut back her screen time. A rep for HBO, however, denied that this incident ever occurred. A rep for Ferreira did not immediately return Rolling Stone’s request for comment.