HBO Max’s upcoming Gossip Girl reboot might not have Euphoria’s nudity, but it will (allegedly) follow the show’s example by having more non-white, non-straight characters. Considering the original Gossip Girl’s very white cast, this is a welcome development.
Vulture reports that showrunners Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage, and Joshua Safran addressed the new Gossip Girl’s focus on diversity at the Vulture Festival on Sunday, with Safran noting that it was especially important to him that the show more realistically depict New York City teens. “There was not a lot of representation the first time around on the show,” he said, which, to my recollection, is a real understatement. “Even when I went to private school in New York in the ’90s, the school didn’t necessarily reflect what was on Gossip Girl. So this time around the leads are non-white.”
Safran said the reboot will also feature more LGBTQ characters and storylines,—though Eric van der Woodsen, one of the original show’s main characters, was gay, the rest of the core Gossip Girl crew was pretty cisgender and straight. “I was the only gay writer, I think, the entire time I was there,” Safran said of the original series. It sounds like this writer’s room will more accurately reflect the spectrum, as Safran noted, “There’s a lot of queer content on this show.”
So this new batch of Constance Billiard students will look and act a little differently from the Serena van der Woodsens and Blair Waldorfs of early aught yore, though they’ll still be rich as fuck. “It is very much dealing with the way the world looks now, where wealth and privilege come from, and how you handle that,” Safran said. Though hopefully Gossip Girl 2.0 won’t remake an attempted rapist into a beloved series icon this time around.