Big Little Lies Credit: HBO

HBO Exec apologises after that Big Little Lies rape comment

HBO programming exec Francesca Orsi is 'embarrassed' about using the word 'rape' to describe the salary demands made by the Big Little Lies cast...

Words by Victoria Fell

After four Golden Globe wins and five nods at the Primetime Emmys, you’d think HBO would be begging the cast and creatives of Big Little Lies to return for a second season, at any price.


Nicole Kidman with her 2018 Golden Globe for Best Actress Best Actress In A Mini-series or Motion Picture for TV

Think again. According to Deadline, HBO drama chief Francesca Orsi had some controversial remarks to make at the INTV conference in Israel on Tuesday. When asked about the costs for the show’s second season, Orsi replied, ‘From a budget standpoint going into season two of Big Little Lies without any options in place we’ve been… um… short of raped.’

These comments are even more inappropriate considering the traumatic rape of Shailene Woodley‘s character that was a main plot point throughout the series.

Orsi was quick to apologise for her sweeping comments, saying, ‘Obviously, I am embarrassed by my poor choice of words,’ in a statement to Deadline. ‘We are extremely proud of Big Little Lies and excited for the second season.’


The cast and crew of Big Little Lies at the 2017 Emmy Awards

Ignoring the questionable phrasing, Orsi raised an interesting point regarding how much HBO is spending on its flagship shows. With the final season of Game of Thrones set to air in 2019, there is talk around developing a few spin-offs, something Orsi has already warned is proving difficult.

‘There is a conundrum if we do take off on one of these Game of Thrones spin-offs, where do we start?’ she explained. ‘We can’t obviously start with the budget of season 8 but would it be a Game of Thrones season three budget?’

However, budget conundrum or not, this kind of language is not OK, particularly in the wake of the #MeToo movement that is rocking the entertainment world.

Sorry HBO, but it is comments like these that are making us all call #TimesUp.

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