‘Euphoria’ Producer Jeremy O. Harris Calls Out David Zaslav as Writers Strike Threatens Season 3: ‘Make a Deal. It’s Easy’

Jeremy O. Harris is best known as the playwright of “Slave Play,” which picked up a record-setting 12 Tony Award nominations in 2021, but he’s also a producer on HBO’s Emmy-winning “Euphoria.”

During an interview as part of the Kering Women in Motion talks at Cannes, Harris called on Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav “to make a deal” so that the ongoing writers strike can end and “Euphoria” Season 3 can go into production as scheduled.

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“All I’ll say is Sam Levinson is not a scab,” Harris said about the “Euphoria” creator not crossing picket lines to go into production. “He’s not a scab. David Zaslav, make a deal. That’s what I’ll say about Season 3 of ‘Euphoria.’ Make a deal, David. It’s easy. Just come to that table.”

“Euphoria” fans have been waiting for Season 3 for well over a year, as the second season finale aired in February 2022. While production on Season 3 is intended to begin this year, the ongoing writers strike could delay those plans. Popular series such as Netflix’s “Stranger Things” have already had to delay filming new seasons because of the strike.

Speaking to Variety’s Chief Correspondent Elizabeth Wagmeister, Harris discussed his career as a playwright, producer and actor, and spoke about his work as an ally to women and underrepresented communities, advocating for new voices to be embraced by the entertainment business.

Speaking of the women on “Euphoria,” Harris had nothing but praise for the cast from Zendaya to Sydney Sweeney and Maude Apatow.

“Sydney is such a special young person. Same with Maude [Apatow],” Harris said. “The ways in which these young women show up and are the hardest working people you’ve ever met in your life, it teaches me how to work better. They are very much about their craft. That’s so inspiring.”

Harris added, “You can’t talk about ‘Euphoria’ without talking about the ways in Zendaya is such a leader there. You see her and Sam sitting together and going through every scene in the script. She asks questions not only as a lead actress but also as a producer. What I learn every time I go to that set is that I can’t stop working really hard. I can’t rely on my charms or the way people perceive me.”

Harris’ admiration for Zendaya runs so deep that he’s currently trying to court her to come to Broadway. The playwright teased a collaboration with Zendaya on Broadway “might be a play,” but he wouldn’t offer any more details.

While the writers strike threatens to delay “Euphoria” Season 3, it nearly derailed the 2023 Tony Awards from airing on television. An agreement was made between the WGA and Tony Awards Productions to allow the ceremony to air without WGA picketing. Harris personally appealed to the WGA, asking them not to picket the broadcast.

“The reason I had to reach out to the WGA to ask them to not picket the Tony Awards it that the awards mean something to the entire ecosystem, a very delicate ecosystem,” Harris said. “I expressed that I feel that theater is like a coral reef. It’s literally endangered. We need to protect it…If this [strike] lasts a decade, every single writer in the WGA can write a play that they will own. You don’t own the TV shows you write. You don’t own the movies you write. You own your play, that’s why you get paid so little for them. Once you own something that brings joy and community around it, there’s no better feeling. We must protect it.”

“As a boy who grew up in a rural town in Virginia, it’s very important to me that kids in other rural spaces that don’t have access to theater can watch it on the Tonys and see a glimpse of what else there is,” Harris added, while also noting that getting your play showcased on the Tonys’ broadcast often creates licensing opportunities.

“Licensing is how people get money for theater,” Harris said.

Watch Harris’ full Kering Women in Motion in the video below.

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