5 Shows With Some Murk Behind The Scenes
It's been well established (by us, for instance) that television is a murky, murky business, but we all secretly hope that our favorite show is the rare exception where everyone making it actually likes each other and going to work every day is a magical, wholesome experience. Unfortunately, that idea is about as realistic as the plot of the average Doctor Who episode. If you somehow doubt that, here are a few more insights into your favorite shows and the weird ways that things fell apart backstage.
Stranger Things Pressured A Child Actor Into A Kissing Scene
The kids from Stranger Things have had some major problems recently, thanks to the internet being, well, the internet to them, in spite of the fact that they represent the last great hope for our garbage entertainment industry. So it's really angrifying to learn that alongside a bunch of weirdos online, we also have to worry about the makers of the show being unnecessarily creepy at them.
During the filming of the Snow Ball sequence at the end of the second season, the script called for Lucas and Max to enjoy a dance together after spending an entire season pretending that they hated each other's guts. When Sadie Sink, the actor who plays Max, showed up to film the scene, co-director Ross Duffer informed her that they'd changed the script to include a kiss between the two characters, which she objected to. As she described in the obligatory Stranger Things after show, her response was "What! No! That's not in the script ... that's not happening," and she spent the rest of the day stressed out over it. You'd think "You'll have to make out with someone a dozen times under hot lights and in front of 40 people, including your parents" would be the sort of thing they tell you before you sign up for a job.
What she didn't know was that Duffer was joking when he asked her about the kiss scene. On seeing her reaction, however, he decided it would be hilarious to write one in. In his own words: "You reacted so strongly to this -- I was just joking -- and you were so freaked out that I was like well, I gotta make her do it now ... that's why I'm saying it's your fault." To be fair, he's only 15 and it's normal for kids his age to be complete d- wait, she's 15?! OK, this story is even more messed up than we thought.
They could have almost turned the story around if the directors had then worked with Sink to help her overcome her discomfort in order to make the scene more believable (aka doing their jobs), but nope, they only made fun of her. Clearly, playing troll was more important here.
The Lethal Weapon TV Show Had To Fire Riggs For Being a Loose Abusive Cannon
Martin Riggs from the Lethal Weapon movies (originally played by Mel Gibson and a head of '80s hair) is the prime example of the "brash police detective who gets the job done, goddammit it" archetype. So when the time came to put Riggs onthe small screen, the makers of Lethal Weapon: The Movie: The TV Show knew that they needed someone who embodied that same spirit. Unfortunately, it looks like casting your show aided by a cursed monkey's paw isn't the best course of action.
Whilst shooting an episode set by a public pool, Riggs actor Clayton Crawford was continually disturbed by the sound of nearby pool-goers. In response to this, he launched into a profanity typhoon featuring half a dozen F-bombs before rounding on an assistant director so badly that they quit on the spot. Any age is "too old for this shit" around this guy, apparently.
After this incident, the studio posted a security guard on set to keep the peace, to no avail. Crawford continued acting like a major ass to the cast and crew, a spiral that ended with a near-brawl between him, co-star Damon Wayans, an assistant, and a producer after a stunt directed by Crawford went bad. The scene, which called for an explosion, resulted in Wayans suffering a major laceration on the back of his head that forced him off set for the rest of the day. When he returned, Crawford called him a "pussy," a "crybaby pussy," and told him that he was only famous because of his brothers. Always the bigger man, Wayans retorted with a classy and evocative "Well, suck this pussy's dick."
Although the rest of filming was peaceful -- not least because the two were separated at all times and escorted by security -- Crawford was soon fired from the Riggs role, something that not even Gibson managed. He was replaced by a new character played by Stifler himself, Seann William Scott. The curse is real.
The Great British Bake Off Tried To Extort The BBC ... And Failed
In an age marked by reality shows populated entirely by people you wouldn't sit next to on the bus, The Great British Bake Off is a much-needed anomaly. There's no blood, no sex, and no C-words, unless that word is "cake." And this simple slice of niceness is why it's one of the most popular television shows on the planet right now. It's too bad, then, that the makers of GBBO were so buoyed by their success that they felt they had the stones and gumption necessary to extort the mighty BBC.
Spoilers: They did not.
In 2016, Love Productions demanded around $32 million to keep GBBO on the BBC, or else they'd GTFO, a decision in part inspired by the fact that the channel had started airing a series of other GBBO-esque reality shows not made by Love. You might be thinking "Wait, doesn't that make the show more expendable?" and that was apparently the BBC's line of thinking too, because they told Love to get lost.
At this point, Love Productions signed a juicy contract with another broadcaster. They forgot two important things, though: 1) The show's biggest draw wasn't cakes, shockingly, but the lovely ensemble of presenters and judges, and 2) They should have renewed the contracts with said presenters and judges before this brouhaha kicked off. Out of loyalty to the BBC, and a little annoyed by Love's money-grasping, everyone except one judge walked away from the show, meaning that Love had to scramble to find a new, instantly lovable cast. Instead, returning host Paul Hollywood now teams up with Your Old School Principal, Off-Brand Russell Brand, and Sandi Toksvig, whom we've nothing against.
It's hard to say that all of this drama was worth it, especially considering that the finale of the first new season drew 10 million fewer viewers than the finale of the final season that aired on the BBC.
*That* Oscars Fuck-Up Apparently Happened Because The Envelope Handler Was Tweeting
Back in 2017, the Academy Awards were made roughly 1,000,000 percent more interesting when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway mistakenly presented the award for Best Picture to La La Land instead of Moonlight. Sure, it would have been even better if they'd given it to, say, 2004's Shrek 2, but there's always next year.
You might have heard that this occurred after an accountant working for PricewaterhouseCoopers (the company in charge of tabulating the votes) accidentally passed Beatty and Dunaway an envelope announcing Emma Stone as Best Actress for La La Land, and they went along with it and read out the movie name. That isn't the full story, though -- the truth is even more embarrassing. Cracked has previously talked about the insanely elaborate security measures PwC uses to keep the Oscar winners secret, but those methods didn't account for one thing: freaking Twitter, man.
It seems that instead of doing his job as a tuxedo-wearing envelope stand, the PwC accountant spent most of the night swanning around the backstage area, taking (and tweeting out) photos with the assorted celebrities. At 9:04 p.m., a backstage photographer caught a snap of the accountant looking at his phone, and he tweeted a photo of Emma Stone holding her Oscar trophy a minute later ... which is a little damning, considering that the envelope hand-off to Beatty and Dunaway happened somewhere around 9:03. We can't say for sure that his excitement over a #oscarsselfie with Stone caused him to drop the ball, but it would probably be for the best if they banned using Twitter inside the Dolby Theater. And then everywhere else. Just to be safe.
NCIS Tore Itself Apart Over a Dog Bite
NCIS, or CSI: Old Navy, has two distinct fandoms. There's the one championed by your mom over Jethro Gibbs, the hard-nosed badass played by Mark Harmon (or "Mark Hardon," as she calls him after a few drinks), and there's the one over Abby that's championed by you because she was your first goth crush don't even deny it.
But despite having a good relationship during the show, Jethro was nowhere to be seen when Abby bid adieu to the series. They showed flashbacks of the two together, sure, but no new scenes. Was there a MILF convention he had to attend or something? Well, not quite. According to people working on the show (and a series of cryptic tweets by Pauley Perrette, Abby's actress), Jethro and Abby friend-divorced because their real-life counterparts went to war over the dude's dog.
While filming the show, Harmon had a habit of bringing his dog to set, which sounds like a good idea until it mauls a crew member and causes them to require 15 stitches or something. Unfortunately, that's exactly what happened in 2016. Despite this, terrified crew members say Harmon refused to stop bringing the dog to work, where he also serves as an executive producer (we mean Harmon; the dog is merely an associate producer). Perette, then, playing off her own popularity with the fans, reportedly went to bat for the crew and called Harmon out on his bullshit, leading to the most ridiculous rift in television history outside of professional wrestling.
The bad blood between the two stars reached the point that they entered a Good Wife-esque arrangement whereby they never had to be on set at the same time, except via the magic of editing. The show recently had a boost in ratings during Abby's farewell episode, but if viewers leave in droves now, they could always strap a motion capture rig on the ever-present dog and try to CGI Abby back in.