Silicon Valley cast talk about #MeToo, TJ Miller's absence from season 5 and possibility of a new season
Just as the season 5 of Silicon Valley is about to premiere, the stars and makers of the show have spoken out about TJ Miller, the show's problem with the representation of women, and the #MeToo and Time's Up movements that have shaken the very foundations of Hollywood.
HBO's Silicon Valley became one of the major television shows to receive the fallback of the #MeToo and Time's Up movements. One of its biggest stars, TJ Miller, was accused of sexual misconduct, and the makers of the hit series were faced with an unavoidable question: should they write TJ Miller's character off the show?
Now, just as the season 5 of Silicon Valley is about to premiere on 25 March, the stars and makers of the show have spoken out about TJ Miller, the show's problem with the representation of women, and the #MeToo and Time's Up movements that have shaken the very foundations of Hollywood.
Speaking to Variety at the PaleyFest in Los Angeles on Sunday (18 March), Kumail Nanjiani, who plays the tole of Dinesh Chugtai, said that the latest season of Silicon Valley is the "most different season we’ve had so far." Nanjiani also said that while the show won't directly address the #MeToo movement, "there is a plot that goes over a couple of episodes later in the season that does talk about that movement, not directly, but what that movement is about is definitely tackled."
As the show is based in Silicon Valley, an area routinely criticised for its lack of representation of women, the series, too, meets with similar criticism.
Addressing this, the show's star Thomas Middleditch, who portrays Richard Hendricks, said that the show was intended to mirror the gender breakdown of the real Silicon Valley. "The creators, their response has always been that their objective is to accurately portray it and that’s kind of what it is,” he said.
Talking about the absence of TJ Miller from the fifth season, executive producers Mike Judge and Alec Berg said that it was difficult to write his character off the show. Miller portrayed the character of Erlich Bachman and was written off the show at the end of the fourth season. Alec Berg compared writing Miller's character off the show to the difficulty of redirecting the show when Christopher Evan Welch, who played Peter Gregory, died in 2013 following the first season.
They did say that TJ Miller's character Elrich Bachman had no reason to stay on the show from season 5 as the Pied Piper team was moving out of Erlich’s house and into an office space. The show's cast also discussed Amanda Crew's presence on Silicon Valley as one of the only women on the show, and the decision for her not to have a romantic relationship with any of the male leads. Crew joked that before looking at new scripts she thinks, "If there is a f***ing love scene, I’m out."
There have been rumors that season 5 will be Silicon Valley’s last, but Mike Judge hinted there could be more. He said that the show has now taken on a new life and could go on for a while.
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