HBO is doubling down that “Euphoria” does NOT foster toxic work environment.
However, new claims from background actors on the set insinuate it was highly toxic.
The Daily Beast was the first to report on the toxicity on the set of “Euphoria” season two.
There were claims that workdays would last 18 hours, and several complaints were made to SAG-AFTRA.
According to a 2019 report from Backstage.com, the Screen Actors Guild’s (SAG) national board of directors, finding that excessively long workdays present “a very real danger to the health and safety of our members,” has voted unanimously to work with the industry’s other labor unions to establish a maximum 12-hour workday throughout the film and TV industry.
This SAG vote adds momentum to a growing movement in Hollywood to limit the length of workdays, which can sometimes run as long as 20 hours.
Background Actors Felt They Weren’t Treated Like People
Sources alleged that a union representative was sent to the set to ensure that union guidelines were being followed.
Multiple set workers said they wouldn’t return to another season of “Euphoria” unless major changes were implemented.
Background actors claimed things got so bad that they weren’t allowed to go to the bathroom and restricted on their time spent away from set.
One anonymous background actor told The Daily Beast, “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.”
Another background actor added “Euphoria” was the “most disorganized set” they’d ever been on.
Background Actor Says “Euphoria” Set Was Very Disorganized
“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,” the actor told the outlet. “It felt toxic to me because I don’t think anybody was really happy to be there.”
Insider received a new statement from HBO on Saturday, March 5. A spokesperson for HBO denied the toxic accusation and SAG-AFTRA violations.
Per the statement, production said they prioritized the well-being of the cast and crew while remaining in full compliance with COVID safety guidelines and protocols.
HBO Defends “Euphoria” Against Toxicity Claims
The statement read, “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.”
He told the outlet that sometimes he worked 16-hour days.
“I think about what I said in an interview about the party being hell, that’s just me being tired and lazy. That’s the human part of me, not the acting part. But we do shoot really long days; sometimes 16-hour days,” the Australian native previously said.
However, he did defend production adding that long days are necessary for a show of that caliber.