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HBO and SAG-AFTRA Respond to Euphoria Set Reports

Hunter Schafer. Photo: Eddy Chen/HBO

On TV, the attendees of Euphoria season two, episode one’s New Year’s Eve party were engaging in all manner of gleeful teenage messiness, but on set, sources claim, a much grimmer scene was unfolding. Production sources told the Daily Beast in a report from March 4 that the atmosphere on Euphoria’s set was “hellish,” consisting of 18-hour work days, chilly weather with no holding areas for extras, and meals provided long after the six-hour mark that SAG-AFTRA mandates. But in a statement, HBO says “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,” HBO told the Daily Beast. “We maintain an open line of communication with all the guilds, including SAG-AFTRA. There were never any formal inquiries raised.” The report also claimed a union representative was called to set after receiving complaints.

Another source told Variety that no formal complaints were issued to SAG-AFTRA. “Advocating for professional performer work categories like background actors and enforcing contractual provisions is one of SAG-AFTRA’s core functions,” said a spokesperson in a statement to Vulture, without confirming whether complaints were filed. “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.”

Director and writer Sam Levinson was a trending topic of discussion each week as fans criticized the improvisational nature of season two and highly publicized reports that he had disagreements with main cast members. No one from the cast has responded to reports of set conditions at this time. The onscreen drama returns when Euphoria season three premieres in 2024.

HBO and SAG-AFTRA Respond to Euphoria Set Reports