Fans of HBO’s Euphoria are dying to know anything about the upcoming third season set to air in 2024. But they got some unexpected news when Barbie Ferreira, who played body-positive, fan-favorite character Kat, dropped a bombshell on her Instagram story this week that she would be saying a “teary-eyed goodbye” to Kat and would not be returning for season 3.
Considering the success of Euphoria with critics and audiences, speculation about the possible reason for Kat’s departure quickly honed in on her alleged tensions with show creator/writer/director Sam Levinson. And while no reason has been confirmed, a deep dive into the alleged conflict between Levinson and Ferreira seems to confirm the speculation. Clearly, the show is just as messy behind-the-scenes.
Here’s a look at the full timeline of events between Levinson and Ferreira that led to Ferreira’s departure:
Season 1 of Euphoria premieres on HBO. Kat Hernandez becomes a fan favorite and it’s reported that Ferreira heavily influenced her character’s storyline by working closely with Levinson.
Production for season 2 is halted as COVID-19 forces a year-long hiatus from filming.
Season 2 finally starts filming.
Euphoria season 2 production takes longer than expected. Sources claim grueling workdays were often 15-17 hours long, in large part due to Levinson failing to come to set with a detailed shot list, his affinity for last-minute script changes, an insistence on using Kodak film rather than shooting on digital, and more.
January 5, 2022
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Ferreira is a no-show at the Euphoria season 2 red carpet premiere, sparking the first rumors about possible tension offscreen. (The only other main cast member who doesn’t attend is Storm Reid, who cites COVID-19 concerns. Ferreira never provides a reason.)
January 9, 2022
Season 2 premieres on HBO.
January 20, 2022
Rumors of conflict on set are ignited after an anonymous tip was sent to DeuxMoi, a pop culture/celebrity gossip account, that stated Ferreira was “not vibing” with Levinson on the direction of her character in season 2. The source added,
“Barbie got into it with him on set and left one day. He then cut a lot of her lines.”
An extra from season 2 confirms rumors about the “miserable” experiences she had working on two episodes. Reiterating the 16+ hour days and the weeks-long process of filming just one episode, she described an environment that many extras “didn’t want to return to”, causing inconsistencies among background actors in various scenes.
Additionally, rumors continue to swell as fans call out Kat’s lack of screen time in season 2. They’re also upset about the extreme departure in terms of character development from season 1 to season 2 and how the new plot line seems completely detached from the Kat we got to know in season 1.
February 14, 2022
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In an interview with The Cut and her fellow co-stars, Ferreira finally addressed her character’s noticeable absence from season 2 and Kat’s divisive storyline. She told the website,
“Kat’s journey this season is a little more internal and a little mysterious to the audience. She is secretly going through a lot of existential crises. She loses her marbles a little bit — just like everyone else in this season. The theme is everyone’s gone a little crazy.”
February 17, 2022
According to The Daily Beast, multiple production sources confirmed Ferreira did indeed walk off set, not once but twice. The report also added that one of Ferreira’s sex scenes was cut from season 2 as well.
March 3, 2022
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Speculation reaches an all-time high when Ferreira seems to comment on rumors of behind-the-scenes drama with Levinson. In an interview with Insider, she said,
“Sometimes, things take on a life of their own, and they’re not rooted in the truth, but it’s OK because I know it’s just out of passion and out of curiosity and all that good stuff.”
In that same interview, Ferreira discusses her hopes for Kat in season three.
“I hope to see her relationship with herself, the internet, with her friends,” she said. “I hope to see everything beautifully devolve as it always does on ‘Euphoria.’ I’m excited to read it. I don’t think it’s written yet, so I’ll be waiting.”
March 4, 2022
HBO finally responds to the allegations of a toxic Euphoria set. In a statement, they defend Sam Levinson and say,
“The well-being of cast and crew on our productions is always a top priority. The production was in full compliance with all safety guidelines and guild protocols. It’s not uncommon for drama series to have complex shoots, and COVID protocols add an additional layer. We maintain an open line of communication with all the guilds, including SAG-AFTRA. There were never any formal inquiries raised.”
August 24, 2022
Ferreira announces her departure from Euphoria before season 3 and says a “teary-eyed goodbye” to Kat Hernandez. No reason is cited for the departure.
So, did Barbie Ferreira opt out of starring in the third season of HBO’s second-most-watched show and her first official acting job? Or are the rumors true and did Levinson decide he was over Kat — and Ferreira? The answer is clear given the timeline of events.
And before you bring up the past Tumblr racism allegations against Ferreira, rapidly gaining traction following news of her departure from the show, check out the facts, or rather, the lack thereof.
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