HBO’s long-awaited drama Big Little Lies, starring Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley, is having fun with its advertising campaign. ‘A perfect life is a perfect lie” reads one poster while billboards display the slogan “It’s a Wonderful Life,” with the “F” knocked out of the final word.
Even though Big Little Lies, based on a bestselling novel by Liane Moriarty, doesn’t premiere until February 19, it’s being greeted with rather less welcome catchphrases on social media—namely it’s yet another show focusing on rich, upper-class white people.
The Hollywood Reporter is leading the charge with reviewer Tim Goodman bizarrely blaming the location switch from Australia to America for accentuating the elite privilege: “By shifting the story out of Australia and to the swanky seaside town of Monterey, the production ratchets up the Rich White People Problems factor that dominates the story.”
me: I want to see more diverse stories on tv I’m tired of everyone constantly investigating white sadness
me: Big Little Lies out yet tho👀
— Ayo Edebiri (@ayoedebiri) January 28, 2017
Thank God for HBO’s ‘Big Little Lies’. We need more shows about white women.
— Veronica Garza (@veros_broke) February 15, 2017
i am so so so excited for the big little lies adaptation on hbo but damn they gotta use only white folx in EVERYTHING its WEIRD
— KYLE JENNER (@ryduhh) January 17, 2017
The inference that white-people problems are inconsequential or inferior is of course absurd—quite apart from anything else, the factors leading to the election of the new president blows this theory out of the water.
But the issue is embarrassing for HBO. It’s not the first time that the cable network has come under fire for being insufficiently diverse with Lena Dunham’s Girls and Game of Thrones scrutinized for being too white-centric
In 2015 HBO announced it was launching a new fellowship geared towards diversity.
If Big Little Lies isn’t a big hit for HBO, don’t be surprised if the network engages in more diversity-driven soul searching.
Me:*Sees an ad for big little lies*
This looks like a boring show about white bitches
My sister: pic.twitter.com/wD20ZXUjD7
— Ricky Miles (@Homicide_Papi) December 27, 2016