'Gossip Girl' reboot loses all-White cast and focuses on BLM, LGBTQ and income inequality
The love for a piece of good gossip is diverse and it's heartening to see that 'Gossip Girl' itself has become more diverse as well. While the original 'Gossip Girl' had an all-White cast, the reboot will now reflect the diversity of the youth in New York City through a much larger prism, not just in terms of 'non White' leading actors, but also plenty of nods to different shades of sexuality.
Joshua Safran, who is the showrunner of the reboot which is set approximately 12 years after the original, says this is the aspect of the show he is most proud of. Safran says, "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. There's a lot of queer content on this show. It is very much dealing with the way the world looks now, where wealth and privilege come from and how you handle that." Cast member Whitney Peak in an interview with Cosmopolitan said, "I want all the hers and the hes and the theys and the people of color from all over the world to be able to watch the show and think, that's a person who looks like me. I don't have to be the stereotypical idea of who I am." If you enjoy fashionable teen dramas with an edge, then perhaps shows like 'Elite' and 'Riverdale' beside the original 'Gossip Girl' should also make your watchlist.
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Safran says that while he initially had doubts about a 'Gossip Girl' reboot and what it could offer, he reconsidered exploring the angle of diversity on the show. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter he says, "I was like, 'You know what, I'd like to do some of the things we were unable to do the first time around. And that's what kept me up at night - a more inclusive show, a more queer show, looking at how social media has changed in the 12 years since the original Gossip Girl - and then I couldn't get that out of my head'.
Talking about social media, fans are appreciating that the show has finally become more diverse but many are wondering if it's all feeling a bit forced. One fan on Twitter said, "ugh i’m so excited for this new gossip girl reboot but i’m still wondering if it will feel as natural as the original and I also hope it won’t be feel like forced diversity #gossipgirlreboot #gossip #tea #gossipgirl #Bridgerton #drama #DramaAlert #tv #Excited."
ugh i’m so excited for this new gossip girl reboot but i’m still wondering if it will feel as natural as the original and I also hope it won’t be feel like forced diversity #gossipgirlreboot #gossip #tea #gossipgirl #Bridgerton #drama #DramaAlert #tv #Excited pic.twitter.com/1F2fzbl4te— ✨sugar & honey🍯 (@finn_the_star) June 10, 2021
Others however say that while there definitely is diversity now on the show in terms of color and sexuality, body diversity is still missing. One fan tweeted saying, "So from what I've seen of the new #GossipGirl, there is NO body diversity. Super happy they're creating a show with characters who are queer and BIPOC, but where are the characters of size?"
So from what I've seen of the new #GossipGirl, there is NO body diversity. Super happy they're creating a show with characters who are queer and BIPOC, but where are the characters of size?— Sarah Sahagian (@sarahsahagian) April 6, 2021
Well, we guess that's another diverse aspect the show creators can keep in mind. As we can see from many of the comments on social media, the original fun of 'Gossip Girl' was just being able to lose yourself in what it was like to be a privileged teenager in New York's most elite circles. The reboot however doesn't shy away from making important points on class differences and the resentment that comes along with that.
Safran in an interview with 'Variety' says that on the reboot these kids wrestle with their privilege in a way the original didn't. He says, "In light of (Black Lives Matter), in light of a lot of things, even going back to Occupy Wall Street, things have shifted." Apparently, the new characters are extremely aware of income inequality and take Ubers instead of limos. At this rate, it sounds like 'Gossip Girl' should be renamed 'Good Girl'. Kudos however to the creators for trying to keep up with the times and the matters of the moment, let's just hope in the attempt to not make any faux pas the fabulousness of the original is not lost.
You can catch the 'Gossip Girl' reboot on July 8 on HBO Max.