Entourage creator Doug Ellin suggested HBO has buried his hit comedy from being discovered by new viewers because of “PC culture.”
The writer-producer said in a new interview that his famously bro-y 2004 Hollywood insider series wasn’t included in HBO Max’s “must-see comedy” lists on the streaming platform.
And he suspected there was a reason the show was not being promoted as heavily as others.
Ellin told Yahoo Entertainment a “a wave of righteous PC culture” has kept the show from being more widely promoted on the network’s streaming services, as well as possibly prevented him from getting a new series picked up.
“[Entourage was] hiding in, like, architectural ‘wish-fulfillment shows’ [on HBO Max],” says Ellin, who is promoting his retrospective Entourage podcast, Victory the Podcast. “Which was weird. We were nominated for an Emmy and a Golden Globe almost every single year, so to not put us in front and to put other shows on the ‘must-see comedy’ list, I thought, was pretty bizarre. It seems to have changed because fans have started downloading the show again [after the podcast] … [But] it would be nice if HBO was like, ‘We have this great 96 episodes of content and we should let our audience know it was there.’ I would type in ‘E-N-T-O’ into HBO Max and Curb Your Enthusiasm would come up! What the hell was this? And I love Curb …”
As of Thursday, Entourage is on HBO Max’s Must-Watch Comedy list, albeit rather far down the side-scroll.
When asked why he thought HBO’s attitude toward the show shifted, Ellin replied, “I resent it tremendously because I don’t think Entourage was this vulgar boyfest that people like to paint it as now. When we came out, The New York Times said we were the smartest show on television. And then, all of a sudden, this wave of righteous PC culture — and again, you’re talking to a liberal who wants equality for all and wants everybody to be kinder and gentler … Most people know [Entourage] was a very realistic portrayal of what Hollywood was like at that time and people will write about it as if something [Jeremy Piven’s bullying agent character Ari Gold] said is how I express myself. Nobody says that about The Sopranos, where they murder people, that maybe we should re-address whether murdering people on TV is OK … [but] a small group with loud voices started criticizing [Entourage] out of nowhere. Every day I’m getting Google alerts telling me how bad I am.”
Critics of Entourage tend to argue the show went beyond just being a satirical examination of toxic bro culture in Hollywood and was instead a full-fledged embrace of that culture and seemed to champion sexist and bullying characters with a lack of moral self-awareness that a show like The Sopranos displayed toward its murderous criminal characters.
Ellin continued, “The executives at HBO that I was dealing with [when the show was in production] were female executives who were very proud of the show at the time, and read every script and gave me their thoughts. I love and respect women and love great female characters and always have, and did the best I could. At the same time, it was a 30-minute show with five male leads, so the fact that we were even able to find time to get in the women we did, I feel very proud of … If we did reboot the show, it’s not that I would make it any more PC, but I would write it to the best of my abilities to reflect the reality of the world right now.”
He further acknowledged the widely panned 2015 Entourage sequel movie was a bit of a disappointment. “Unfortunately, the movie didn’t work as well as some may have hoped … I think we were all disappointed because the Entourage fans really liked it, but we hit the #MeToo movement right in the face and that’s all the critics focused on, even though it was kind of what we did on the show that had been so positively received for years before that,” he said.
Ellin also complained that his recent comedy pilot 40 starring Michael Imperioli, Michael Rapaport and Ed Burns wasn’t picked up to series by HBO. “Whether [HBO] thought it was good or not, I earned my chance to have a second shot, and they put some other pretty crappy shows on [instead],” he said.
HBO had no comment.