Is the set of Stranger Things a bad place to work? About a year ago one report claimed the set was a toxic environment. Gossip Cop investigates.
In January 2021, the National Enquirer reported that the set of Stranger Things was “soul-crushing.” Show creators Matt and Ross Duffer were too relaxed with COVID-19 measures, and the crew was suffering in a swamp. “The creators were cancerous, in every way” a source revealed. “There was no way of reining them in.”
While everyone was tested and masked, no social distancing was going on. Conditions were so bad that the cast began to snap, with one actor refusing to do additional barefoot took due to the freezing cold rain. The Duffer brothers forced their cast of dozens to wait in sub-freezing temperatures while they took all day to rewrite scripts. A source concluded, “the crew had to wait around for them to make up their minds.”
The Duffer Brothers have been accused of toxic behavior in the past. In 2018, a grip on Stranger Things said the two were verbally abusive. “We are deeply upset to learn that someone felt uncomfortable on our set,” the Duffer brothers said in a statement. Netflix did an internal investigation and found no wrongdoing.
The two were also accused of coercing an underage cast member into a kissing scene, but the actress later clarified that she had no objections to the scene. The brothers have a good enough relationship with some cast members, specifically David Harbour, to do sit-down interviews and panels together. If they are hated on set, it does not appear to be universal.
If the Enquirer knows about a cast member shouting complaints on set, then why wouldn’t it name the cast member? It literally prints a quotation, “No. We’re done. I’m cold,” implying an eyewitness to these events. The outlet obviously has it out for the Duffer Brothers, so why in blazes would it play coy?
The answer is obvious: these sources have no real insight into the closed set of Stranger Things. In the year since this story, Gossip Cop hasn’t heard a peep about COVID-flaunting or ice-cold sets. Season four’s release date was just announced, so it sure looks like everyone was able to work together to get things done. Keep your eyes peeled on May 27 for the first half of season four.
Other Toxic Workplaces
Part of Ellen DeGeneres’ legacy is the birth of a whole new tabloid trope: the toxic workplace. The Enquirer leveraged the talkshow hosts infamous allegations into increasingly common accusations at other creators and showrunners. It Compared DeGeneres to Tamron Hall for instance.
Stranger Things now joins The Late Late Show and Grey’s Anatomy as shows which this tabloid claims have a terrible workplace. Stories like these are problematic because they tend to have no evidence outside of shady insiders. It’s totally plausible that each and every one of these sets has a toxic environment, but you simply cannot trust what this outlet says.
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