Spotted — a TV series rectifying its original problem with representation (or lack thereof). The new Gossip Girl will feature non-white leads and “lots of queer content,” suggesting a level of inclusivity the series couldn’t exactly claim during its original 2007 to 2012 run. But speaking at VultureFest, Gossip Girl producer Joshua Safran promised that the forthcoming reboot will do a better job of reflecting “the way the world looks now.”
During his panel on Sunday afternoon, Safran admitted that the show’s original run was problematic in ways. “There was not a lot of representation the first time around on the show. I was the only gay writer I think the entire time I was there. Even when I went to private school in New York in the ’90s, the school didn’t necessarily reflect what was on Gossip Girl,” he said.
But, this time, Safran along with how creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage — are committed to delivering something more realistic. “So, this time around the leads are nonwhite. There’s a lot of queer content on this show,” he revealed, elaborating, “It is very much dealing with the way the world looks now, where wealth and privilege come from, and how you handle that.”
.@Anthologist confirms to @hunteryharris that the #GossipGirl reboot will take place in the same universe as the original and the students will attend Constance Billard. #VultureFestival pic.twitter.com/2MnZ0swHQd
— Vulture (@vulture) November 11, 2019
In the series’ original run, it featured six main characters: Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively), Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester), Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgley), Nate Archibald (Chace Crawford), Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick) and Jenny Humphrey (Taylor Momsen). They were all white, cisgender and heterosexual. The show got two tiny bumps of inclusivity when it introduced Vanessa Abrams (Jessica Szohr), who was biracial, and when Serena’s brother Eric (Connor Paolo) came out as gay.
Back in 2017, when the show celebrated the 10-year anniversary of its premiere date, Safran told Vulture he still carries around a few regrets. “When I look back on Gossip Girl, the only things I regret were not as much representation for people of color and gay storylines,” he said. “Those are the two things I think we probably could have delved into more deeply, but other than that, I only regret things like now showing Chuck finger Blair and the dildos and other sexual stuff.”
From the sound of Safran’s talk at Vulture Festival, though, he certainly aims to amend the representation and inclusivity. And, apparently, there’s a little mystery tied up in that. “The thing I can’t say is there is a twist, and that all relates to the twist,” he teased of more accurately reflecting New York’s teen demographic.
Buckle up, Upper East Siders! Sounds like the second coming of Gossip Girl is going to be one wild ride.