HBO executive Francesca Orsi has apologized for her insensitive comments regarding the “Big Little Lies” cast and their pay demands.
On Tuesday, Orsi said the cast “raped” the network with their deals to return to the hit show: “From a budget standpoint going into season 2 of ‘Big Little Lies’ without any options in place we’ve been … um … sort of raped,” she said at a conference in Israel.
But shortly after the comments were made public, Orsi released a statement: “Obviously, I am embarrassed by my poor choice of words. We are extremely proud of ‘Big Little Lies’ and excited for the second season.”
The hit show, starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, and Laura Dern, is set to return for a second season next year with the cast addition of Meryl Streep.
Sources told The Hollywood Reporter that both Kidman and Witherspoon earned between $250,000 and $350,000 an episode for season 1 but, with the new season’s deal with Apple, the stars are getting a significant pay raise, with Witherspoon, also a producer, rumoured to earn $1.25 million an episode for the 20-episode order.
Production of the upcoming season will begin this spring with the show premiering in 2019.