We at HBO recognize that our audience’s values have evolved. Similar to the recent edits of Agatha Christie and Roald Dahl, we will be revising our older shows with dated attitudes and values that do not reflect the current state of the world. This network has a responsibility to protect our viewers from the narrow-minded opinions of the past, which is why our first sensitivity reading will be of a generation-defining classic from a bygone era, Entourage.
Entourage was very much a product of its time, and 2011 was an entirely different chapter in this nation’s history. We have since undergone vast shifts in our views on women, race, and Ed Hardy. We don’t want modern audiences to have to confront this potentially offensive content or wonder how this show, an unironic love letter to douchebags, was ever considered worthy of being broadcast on HBO.
These revisions should not be seen as censorship or erasure. This is a well-intentioned and nuanced update, much like Steven Spielberg editing the guns out of ET. We are merely removing a handful of problematic elements that were more socially acceptable back in Entourage’s time. These include sexism, homophobia, misogyny, anti-Semitism, dubious sexual politics, Asian hate, toxic masculinity, the casting couch, racial slurs, ethnic slurs, sexist jokes, abusive workplace language, mockery of sex workers, cameos by James Woods and Armie Hammer, the fact that any woman was willingly attracted to Turtle or Johnny Drama, and the way in which white men were able to get away with absolutely anything and succeed despite having no discernable skill set or work ethic.
By making these minor changes, we will hopefully maintain the spirit of the original (a show about friendship, chasing dreams, and a zero-consequence celebrity lifestyle) while also conforming to the values of the current moment.
So here is what Entourage will look like post-sensitivity reading:
- “Let’s hug it out, bitch” will be ADR’d to say: “I value your male friendship and recognize your vulnerability, bro.”
- Ari Gold will be edited out entirely, as will any scene set in the hostile talent agency. Also gone are the scenes where Vince has random hookups in closets and changing rooms, etc. Due to this, most episodes will have an eleven-minute run time.
- “Harvey Weingard,” a stand-in for He-Who-Will-Not-Be-Named, will be digitally replaced with Shonda Rimes, urging Vince to use his power to ensure pay equity with his female costars.
- The words c***, m**********r, p***y, * *******, and countless others will be removed, as though the show were sanitized for basic cable.
- The last scene of the episode “No Cannes Do,” where Kanye West gives the guys a last-minute flight to France, will instead feature a title card stating that they took a carbon-neutral boat ride from Ed Begley Jr.
- The character known exclusively as “Mrs. Ari” will now have a name. We will not wait until the third to last episode to learn that she is “Melissa.”
- Instead of Vince playing the role of Pablo Escobar, he will decide that since he is not of Colombian origin, it would be improper for him to take the part, so he allows a Latinx actor to portray the drug kingpin properly.
- The episode “The Day Fuckers,” based around a competition to see who can get laid first, will now be replaced by the episode of Insecure where Issa and Molly go to an outdoor movie screening and run into Molly’s ex, prompting a deep conversation about preconceived notions of manhood.
- The series finale, where in order to convince a woman to date him, Vince puts together a video reel of all his exes giving him positive reviews (yes, this happened, and it worked), will remain untouched as a teachable lesson. But a post-credits scene has Jezebel.com finding the footage and writing a scathing thinkpiece, finally leading to Vince getting canceled (paying off the show’s unintentional long-term storytelling).
Much like how gender-neutral Oompa Loompas and a non-fat shamed Augustus Gloop have helped the modern discourse, this new Entourage will shield viewers from any undue offense from the late ’00s. And when morals shift again in around five years, we are prepared to revise Veep and Succession for audiences who can’t understand that these characters should not be seen as role models.
But let it be known that Ballers will not be edited at all. That show is timeless, and Dwayne Johnson won’t allow us to do anything to it anyway.