Starz’s Sweetbitter keeps the novel’s scandalous scenes of after-hours hookups and shifting power dynamics, but at the show’s panel at Vulture Festival on Saturday, author Stephanie Danler revealed that future episodes will expand to explore subjects the book left out: the trials of undocumented workers in the New York restaurant industry, and the racial dichotomy between front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house workers. Danler has added characters like Heather, the show’s only person of color in the front of the house, and actress Jasmine Matthews, who plays Heather, says her story lines will reflect her own experiences being a person of color working in the front of the house. Danler says future installments will also focus on the lives of back-of-the house characters Manny and Santos, showing how privilege plays a part in building the hierarchy of the staff. “We wanted to show New York as it really is and not a romanticized version,” Danler said. “We cast the show very much how a restaurant would be in 2006.”
Eden Epstein, Ella Purnell and Stephanie Danler of Sweetbitter.