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The Umbrella Academy has millions of fans, is one of Netflix’s biggest shows and proudly wears its progressive credentials, but it seems there’s some dark stuff happening behind the scenes. A bombshell new report from Rolling Stone goes deep into toxic workplace culture

The exposé a few short weeks before the premiere of The Umbrella Academy’s fourth and final season and is source from 12 former staffers on the Netflix series who describe the behavior of showrunner Steve Blackman. 

The sources, most of whom refused to be named, allege a long history of manipulative and retaliatory behavior at the hands of Blackman, including claims of sexism, homophobia, and unfair dismissal.

Most of these claims were documented in a HR complaint filed by The Umbrella Academy staffers to the show’s production company in January 2023, and Blackman himself has since responded to the allegations.

It’s one of multiple exposés published by Rolling Stone about toxic sets on television shows, with Queer Eye and Jojo Siwa’s XOMG Pop! series being the subject of similar reports in recent months. So what exactly is Blackman being accused of, and how might it affect The Umbrella Academy?

The Umbrella Academy workplace culture drama, explained

Rolling Stone paints Blackman as having a “long history of toxic, bullying, manipulative, and retaliatory behavior.” Among other accusations, Blackman is described as “a manipulative and chaotic showrunner” who fostered “a toxic workplace by pitting staffers against one another” and took credit for work he didn’t produce.

Several former staffers interviewed described working on The Umbrella Academy as one of the most tumultuous periods of their careers. Sources claim workers had their “status diminished” whenever they stood up to Blackman, and were forced to blindly support “whatever his bad ideas are.” These claims of retaliation were detailed in the HR complaint, in which season four co-showrunner Jesse McKeown said he was punished by Blackman after backing a writer during a payment dispute.

Blackman’s former assistant also claimed they were fired after mistakenly receiving his prescription information, though Blackman said that dismissal was based only on performance. One accusation was leveled by two former female writers, one of whom claims she was fired after giving birth. Blackman reportedly was unaware the staffer was pregnant and felt “ripped off” when she took maternity leave, leading to her dismissal. 

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Blackman’s representatives denied she was fired for this reason, and said her termination was in accordance with “all policies and regulations” and was based only on performance and budgets. The report also details alleged instances of homophobia and transphobia, particularly around the character played by trans actor, Elliot Page, who refused to comment when contacted by Rolling Stone.

According to text messages received by Rolling Stone, Blackman was initially hesitant to alter Page’s character, and was resistant to any castmate showing support for the Netflix walk-out following Dave Chappelle’s controversial special. Blackman claims his hesitance was due to the workload that would come from rewriting Page’s character, but the sources also said he would make lewd comments in which trans people were the “butt of the joke.”

These inappropriate comments also included jokes about female staffers’ bodies, as part of what one source said was “an incredibly sexist environment.” Blackman denied these allegations, too, saying he had always worked to support trans voices and even consulted with advocates regarding the direction of Page’s character.

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It’s also alleged that the investigation launched by the production company after the HR complaint wasn’t thorough enough. While it resulted in Blackman being largely cleared of most allegations, several staffers claimed the investigation lacked consultation from those who made the claims, with the majority of those named in the complaint saying they were not contacted to explain why they filed it in the first place. 

Both Blackman and Universal Content Productions, the company behind The Umbrella Academy, have denied the claims. UCP said in a statement that they are committed to maintaining “a safe and respectful workplace,” adding that complaints are thoroughly investigated and promptly acted upon. 

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For his part, Blackman claimed via a spokesperson that the allegations are “entirely untrue” and “completely absurd”, saying they come from a “handful of disgruntled employees” and do not reflect the “collaborative, respectful, and successful” working environment of The Umbrella Academy.

Despite the bombshell revelations, it seems the rollout of The Umbrella Academy’s fourth and final season will remain unaffected, with the latest installment of the fantasy series dropping on Netflix on August 8. The storyline around the continued transition of Page’s character is expected to continue in the upcoming season

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By: Tom Disalvo
Title: Netflix’s ‘Umbrella Academy’ in trouble as showrunner accused of being sexist, homophobic, and transphobic by staffers
Sourced From: wegotthiscovered.com/tv/netflixs-umbrella-academy-in-trouble-as-showrunner-accused-of-being-sexist-homophobic-and-transphobic-by-staffers/
Published Date: Mon, 01 Jul 2024 09:31:28 +0000

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The debate over who the greatest all-time competitor on The Challenge will forever have different answers, but one name who will surely always be up there in contention is CT Tamburello. With nearly two dozen seasons under his belt, CT has had one of the most incredible journeys in the history of the entire franchise. From kicked off for fighting to fighting for the win. From being a quintessential bad guy to softening up and winning the heart of an amazing woman, CT’s transformation on The Challenge is one of the most incredible in the entire series. He may claim he’s retiring season after season, but he just simply can’t say no.

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By: Michael Block
Title: CT’s 10 Biggest Moments on ‘The Challenge,’ Ranked
Sourced From: collider.com/the-challenge-ct-moments-ranked/
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Over the course of the last several decades, the line between television and film has become blurred. While traditionally there was a notable budget and quality difference between the two mediums, many of the best modern drama shows like Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, or Mad Men reached a level of quality and significant resources that rivaled many of the smaller films in theaters. Additionally, the growing serialization of blockbuster films, particularly those in the superhero genre, has made many big-screen events feel like just episodes of a prolonged serialized narrative. Theres a fuzzy line to be drawn, but the 2016 documentary O.J.: Made in America became the first project to win both an Academy Award and a Primetime Emmy.

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By: Liam Gaughan
Title: The Longest Oscar-Winning Movie Is Actually a Miniseries
Sourced From: collider.com/oj-made-in-america/
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The Television Critics Association has announced the winners of its landmark 40th TCA Awards, with two shows standing head and shoulders above the rest during the 2023-2024 television season. Each year, the organization celebrates the exemplary programs that debut within a season, as its membership of over 230 professional television journalists from across the United States and Canada vote for the defining series and stars in several categories. For this iteration, the big winner of the evening was FX’s period piece adaptation Shgun, which scored four wins from the five categories it was nominated in, while Max’s standout comedy Hacks took second place with two wins.

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By: Ryan O’Rourke
Title: ‘Shogun’ and ‘Hacks’ Win Big at the 2024 TCA Awards
Sourced From: collider.com/tca-awards-winners-2024/
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