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March 13, 2018

Exec Apologizes After Saying HBO Was ‘Raped’ By ‘Big Little Lies’ Cast’s Salary Demands

As we reported earlier, HBO executives were on hand at the INTV Conference, where they discussed “Game of Thrones” and a variety of other topics. One series that was discussed was “Big Little Lies.” The series has been cleaning up at various award shows, including 8 Emmys. Clearly, it was in HBO’s best interest to renew the series for a second season.

Since the show was such a hit the cast and crew demanded larger salaries for a new season, as is to be expected. HBO Senior Vice President of Drama Francesca Orsi spoke about this very issue at INTV. “From a budget standpoint, going into Season 2 of ‘Big Little Lies’ without any options in place, we’ve been … um … short of raped,” said the exec.

Obviously, throwing around the word “rape,” particularly in today’s political climate, didn’t sit well with people. This is especially the case, when discussing a female-led series where rape was at the center of the plot, and also in the wake of all the Hollywood sexual abuse scandals.

After a fair amount of outrage over the word choice, Orsi issued an apology to Deadline. “Obviously, I am embarrassed by my poor choice of words,” Orsi said in a statement. “We are extremely proud of ‘Big Little Lies’ and excited for the second season.”

Perhaps the apology will suffice, as we have yet to hear what the series cast and crew thinks of the whole situation. Regardless of the very poor word-choice, the stars who saw the pay bump have to be a little upset over an HBO executive insinuating that the network was somehow taken advantage of by the actors.

Production is set to begin on the second season shortly, with a 2019 premiere in mind. “Big Little Lies” stars Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley, Alexander Skarsgård, Adam Scott, and Zoë Kravitz. Season 2 is getting a big boost in the star-power department with the introduction of Meryl Streep as Kidman’s mother-in-law. The series was created by David E. Kelley.

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