Gossip Girl: The woke reboot no one asked for
July 19, 2021
HBO Max’s Gossip Girl reboot is the latest example of Hollywood putting woke values ahead of storytelling. Instead of thinking up something innovative and exciting, they’ve decided to churn out yet another politically correct reboot. The original Gossip Girl was popular when it was on over a decade ago and the reboot could have been relevant.
In an interview with Variety, showrunner Josh Safran (who also Executive Produced the original series) said of the reboot: “These kids wrestle with their privilege in a way that I think the original didn’t. In light of [Black Lives Matter], in light of a lot of things, even going back to Occupy Wall Street, things have shifted. I think the first [‘Gossip Girl’] showed a little bit of wealth porn or privilege porn, like, ‘Look at these cars, or here’s a montage of the best-plated food you’ve ever seen.’”
Safran is correct, at least in part. Viewers do enjoy watching TV shows about rich people because it takes them out of their reality and allows them to experience new and exciting worlds. Entertainment should be an escape – that’s why the first iteration of Gossip Girl was so popular.
The reboot’s attempt to cram social justice messaging into the lifestyles of the rich and the famous rings hollow. Consumers are tired of constantly being told that they’re awful and racist and bigoted, especially when that message comes from Hollywood.
The Gossip Girl reboot’s use of the ultra-wealthy world of young, rich New York City socialites as a way to push social justice messages feels out of touch. The show’s creators have gone to great lengths to hire an extremely diverse cast, which muddles the message even more. These kids are rich and beautiful and privileged, but they’re somehow also oppressed? It almost feels like this show hates itself. How does a diverse cast portraying privileged New York City teens who attend private school fit in with the BLM narrative?
The show’s premise and messaging feel reminiscent of what Americans deal with every day from the media: rich, out-of-touch coastal elites using their soapbox platforms to critique everyone else as bigoted. People are sick and tired of it, which is why it should come as no surprise that Gossip Girl has a whopping 37% on Rotten Tomatoes. Sometimes when you go woke, you don’t just go broke – you also end up red-faced.