Doug Ellin, the creator of Entourage, made a truly goofy blunder on Thursday in reaction to a satirical re-envisioning of the notably problematic show, which made douchebag characters like Ari Gold and Vincent Chase into household names after its premiere in 2004.
On Entourage, jocular male characters often spent entire episodes attempting to get laid, a phenomenon pointed out by writer Max Davidson in the humorous essay written for McSweeney’s that Ellin mistakenly, it appears, thought was a real proposal from an HBO executive to recut the series to reflect contemporary sensitivities.
“Our first sensitivity reading will be of a generation-defining classic from a bygone era, Entourage,” Davidson’s essay reads. “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.”
“Here is what Entourage will look like post-sensitivity reading… gone are the scenes where Vince has random hookups in closets and changing rooms, etc. Due to this, most episodes will have an 11-minute run time.”
“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.”
It’s very funny! But Ellin, it’s safe to say, 1000 percent did not get the joke.
“You are very much a product of your time, you revisionist hack,” he wrote on Twitter, quote-tweeting the McSweeney piece. “Talentless nobodies like you speak on Twitter and then your zombie friends at shitty newspapers, that nobody reads anymore reprint your trash. Tell president Obama and the nytimes how offensive we were. Those who try to rewrite history are offensive. And dangerous. And Spielberg already regrets touching ET. Anyway, fuck you. Oh we got a Peabody and a bafta too, ya loser.”
You are very much a product of your time, you revisionist hack. talentless nobodies like you speak on twitter and then your zombie friends at shitty newspapers, that nobody reads anymore reprint your trash. Tell president Obama and the nytimes how offensive we were. Those… https://t.co/N889tP3bMs
— Doug Ellin (@mrdougellin) May 19, 2023
“Doug, I wrote this piece. It’s satire,” Davidson tweeted back. “It’s taking sensitivity readings to the extreme of editing shows from 15 years ago. The ET joke was quite intentional. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to have Ari Gold scream obscenities at me. Now I know.”
After Davidson and several others had pointed out to him on Twitter that the piece was satire, Ellin backed off—while still insisting he had a point.
“I skimmed. But by the way I’ve read similar things that were real,” he tweeted Friday morning in response to someone who noted that the author was being “sarcasitc,” adding, “I know that now!”