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Everything We Know About Barbie Ferreira’s Exit from “Euphoria”

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Manhattan chapter.

By Chloe Barth

Content warning: brief mentions of sexual assault and eating disorders

Euphoria, the iconic HBO original which produced innumerable memes and TikTok sounds, will be down a cast member in Season 3. Barbie Ferreira, who played Kat Hernandez for two seasons on the show, announced on Instagram that she will no longer be a part of Euphoria. “After four years of getting to embody the most special and enigmatic character Kat, I’m having to say a very teary eyed goodbye,” the star wrote. The announcement comes after her character Kat had a noticeably reduced amount of screen time. Like most of the other main characters of Season 1, Kat received a formal introduction in the beginning of an episode to serve as a jumping-off point for her character arc. As her storyline progressed, she became a mogul for body positivity and sex positivity. Yet by the time Season 2 rolled around, Kat was barely a part of the show anymore. Fans joked about the character assassination, with one Twitter user writing, “this is such a loss…which other tv character is ever gonna break up with their boyfriend by telling them they have a terminal brain disorder[?]” Aside from this breakup, it is currently unclear as to how Kat will be written off the show.

Ferreira’s is not the only character to make an abrupt departure. After appearing as a part of the main cast of Season 1, Algee Smith’s character McKay only appeared in one episode of the most recent season. Viewers followed his struggles during his freshman year of college, including a wildly controversial plotline which heavily insinuated sexual assault against him. This moment was brushed off in the second season, as McKay made only a brief appearance in a party scene and has been absent since.

Finally, after sharing a major plotline together in Season 1, characters Jules and Nate only appeared on screen together once throughout all of Season 2. This may be credited to the rumored feud between their two actors, Hunter Schafer and Jacob Elordi, who unfollowed and re-followed each other on Instagram in 2021. Euphoria creator Sam Levinson allegedly rewrote most of the pair’s scenes to keep the two apart.

Some compare Sam Levinson’s writing to that of Ryan Murphy, best known for his work on the hit TV show Glee. In a 2016 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Murphy admitted that things got “too personal” amidst cast drama. “There was no delineation between who was the boss and who was the employee,” he explained. Glee plotlines were infamously influenced by real-life drama between actors. In similar fashion, Euphoria’s Season 2 is confirmed to have gone through major rewrites. None of the cast has confirmed why exactly this is the case, although lead actress Zendaya went on record saying that, “The things that didn’t make it definitely needed to die.” Ferreira’s reduced screen time is allegedly due to issues between herself and Levinson. Adding fuel to the fire was Ferreira’s absence from the Season 2 premiere. Anonymous sources went on to claim that Barbie Ferreira’s character was originally supposed to battle an eating disorder this season, which the actress was uncomfortable with.While Season 1 of Euphoria captured fans with its unique storytelling, the plot of Season 2 was much less concise. Starting off as a captivating peek into the drama-filled lives of teenagers, Euphoria quickly became a source of jokes rather than relatability. Fans of Season 1 grew into critics, raising issue with the graphic portrayal of teenage sexuality, as well as Sam Levinson’s sole creative direction of a show featuring queer characters and characters of color. Ferreira’s exit heightens this criticism. While much is left to be confirmed about how and why she is leaving the show, it is clear that Levinson now bears heavy responsibility to write her character off correctly.

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Chloe Barth

Manhattan '24