After a cruel summer of his own, Bert V. Royal left Freeform’s Cruel Summer, which he created, once the show’s pilot wrapped filming in August or September 2020, according to a new report from The Hollywood Reporter. Royal, previously known for writing Easy A, was credited as an executive producer of the entire series and as the writer of four of its ten episodes, including that pilot and the season-one finale. Per THR’s sources, Royal repeatedly butted heads with a Freeform executive over the summer, ultimately leading him to exit the show months ahead of its April 2021 premiere — and before Cruel Summer became one of Freeform’s most popular series ever. This means the show will move ahead with its recently ordered second season without Royal under the direction of showrunner Tia Napolitano (a former producer of Grey’s Anatomy and Station 19), who joined after the pilot wrapped. As Cruel Summer taught us, there are always two sides to every story, but Royal himself has yet to comment on the reports.
Olivia Holt as Kate Wallis in Cruel Summer. Photo: Disney