If the Creative Arts Emmys are any indication, there’s a good chance that the HBO drama Euphoria will win big at the 2022 Primetime Emmys, sparking new interest in the upcoming third season of the raunchy teen drama. Backstage at the event, Emmy award-winning actor Colman Domingo told Deadline that creator Sam Levinson wants to go even deeper into the show’s characters and “take some really big swings” for Season 3.
But while Levinson’s focus may be on creating new magic for everyone’s favorite sex-crazed teens, fans are more interested in all the drama surrounding the actresses behind the series’ viral success. What’s going on with the Euphoria girls?
The longest-running rumors about the show have mainly revolved around the apparent tension between actress Barbie Ferreira and showrunner Levinson. While Kat was a major player in the show’s first season, she took an abrupt back seat when the second season premiered, with a background and, frankly, boring storyline that saw her relegated to quippy one-liners and scene changes amid the major plot. Celebrity gossip Instagram account DeuxMoi posted a blind item at the time that said Ferreira walked off set after arguing with Levinson over her character’s storyline, which resulted in even more scenes being cut from the season. While Ferreira pushed back against the idea of on-set drama, she later made headlines by announcing her departure from the show’s third season entirely.
“After four years of getting to embody the most special and enigmatic character Kat, I’m having to say a very teary-eyed goodbye,” she wrote in an Instagram Stories post last month (It didn’t even make it to her main grid!). “I hope many of you could see yourself in her like I did,” the post continued, “and that she brought you joy to see her journey into the character she is today. I put all my care and love into her and I hope you guys could feel it. Love you Katherine Hernandez.”
Following Ferreira’s departure, Sydney Sweeney’s downfall was next up in the lineup. The actress had already been a hot topic on social media following comments in July about not being able to financially afford taking a break from acting. While her comments sparked a larger discussion about streaming, residuals, and privilege, it was a seemingly innocent Instagram photo dump that really threw her into the mix.
On Aug. 27, Sweeney posted several photos to Instagram celebrating her mother’s 60th birthday. The caption read, “no better way to celebrate my momma than a surprise hoedown,” and features multiple family members in various stages of cowboy attire. But fans desperate for photos of Euphoria’s Season 2 showstopper in a corset dress and cowboy boots noticed that one of Sweeney’s family members was wearing an American flag shirt with a blue line, most notably used for the Blue Lives Matter movement.
After Sweeney’s brother Trent posted his own photos of the party, including one with two guests wearing what appeared to be MAGA-themed hats, it was off to the controversy races. Within 24 hours, people were making references and memes about the January 6th insurrection and starting intense discourse on whether or not people are required to cut off their Republican family members.
“You guys this is wild,” Sweeney tweeted in response. “An innocent celebration for my moms milestone 60th birthday has turned into an absurd political statement, which was not the intention. Please stop making assumptions. Much love to everyone ♥️ and Happy Birthday Mom!”
Even our dear Hunter Schafer was not immune to the Euphoria curse. The actress, who is known for being vocal about politics and issues of LGBTQ+ inclusion, was accused of being a transmedicalist by her fans after she liked and commented on a now-deleted Instagram post that argued nonbinary trans individuals were responsible for major walk backs of advancements in transgender healthcare. (Transmedicalism is a belief that trans people have to experience dysphoria and need to transition to relieve that distress. This theory is often refuted by the nonbinary community, who often consider themselves trans but can find empowerment without experiencing dysphoria or feeling the need to medically transition.)
The post cited recent rulings and guidelines in Florida, where health care officials at the Agency for Health Care Administration released a report claiming that treatment for gender dysphoria is not medically necessary. The post did not address the fact that Republican lawmakers, led by governor Ron DeSantis, have repeatedly used transgender healthcare, trans participation in sports, and LGBTQ+ inclusion in schools as new wedge issues. Schafer commented several exclamation points underneath the post.
But after fans accused her of hating non-binary people, Schafer spoke up in the comments of her latest Instagram post on Tuesday.
“Also, while we are here- i hold absolutely no hatred towards non-binary folks. I agreed with another t-girl’s post in which she pointed out an in-balance in the visibility and space-taken up between non-binary folks and binary trans women (particularly those of color and/or those who have resulted to sex work as a means of survival) that i think deserves attention/ re-evaluation (as far as resources and platforms go) within the LGBTQ+ community,” Schafer wrote. “I am not a trans medicalist, and my ideology around transness does not align with transmedicalism, nor a disdain towards nb identifying people.”
For those concerned that the Euphoria mess will rub off on the rest of the iconic friend group, don’t worry — for now, at least. Alexa Demie is still as confident and age-defying as ever. Even Maude Apatow remains scandal-free, skillfully responding to accusations of being a nepotism baby the only way you can: agreeing. “I try not to let it get to me because I obviously understand that I’m in such a lucky position,” Apatow said in a recent interview with Net-A-Porter. “A lot of people [in a similar position] have proven themselves over the years, so I’ve got to keep going and make good work. It’s so early in my career, I don’t have much to show yet, but hopefully one day I’ll be really proud of the stuff I’ve done by myself.”
As for Zendaya, the actress was last seen at the U.S Open in New York, watching sports legend Serena Williams play her last winning match. The Euphoria star looked glowing in a fresh blowout, a chic Steve Jobs-esque black turtleneck, and a pair of wire-framed glasses. It’s giving: untouchable.