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The Boys Too "Woke" For You? "Go Watch Something Else": Eric Kripke

The Boys Showrunner Eric Kripke on the Trump influence, Homelander NEVER being a hero, and his advice for the "woke" complainers out there.

Homelander (Antony Starr) isn't the good guy. He shouldn't be your hero. And yes, it's always been about Donald Trump. With less than a week to go until Butcher (Karl Urban) and the leader of The Seven resume their deadly dance for a fourth season, The Boys Showrunner/EP Eric Kripke addresses that very topic in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter. But first, some congratulations need to go out to Kripke for the reason behind the interview – his being named THR's TV Producer of the Year. During the insightful interview, Kripke shared how the series was initially pitched in 2016 and how Trump's election helped them to develop a "metaphor" that could serve as a warning sign about the dangers that exist at "the intersection of celebrity and authoritarianism and how social media and entertainment are used to sell fascism." In terms of those who view Homelander as some kind of role model or accuse the streaming series of being "woke," Kripke has a suggestion for them, too.

the boys
Image: Prime Video; CBS Evening News Screencap

"When Seth [Rogen] and Evan [Goldberg] and I took it out to pitch, it was 2016. We just wanted to do a very realistic version of a superhero show, one where superheroes are celebrities behaving badly. Trump was the 'He's not really getting the nomination, is he?' guy. When he got elected, we had a metaphor that said more about the current world," Kripke shared. "Suddenly, we were telling a story about the intersection of celebrity and authoritarianism and how social media and entertainment are used to sell fascism. We're right in the eye of the storm. And once we realized that, I just felt an obligation to run in that direction as far as we could."

As for those who accuse the show of being too political or being "too woke," Kripke makes it clear that they have no intentions on holding back – but he does have a suggestion for those folks. "I clearly have a perspective, and I'm not shy about putting that perspective in the show. Anyone who wants to call the show 'woke' or whatever, that's OK. Go watch something else. But I'm certainly not going to pull any punches or apologize for what we're doing," Kripke explained. As for those Homelander worshippers, Kripke isn't sure what else they can do to drive home the point that he's the show's "big bad" after three previous seasons of hard evidence. "Some people who watch it think Homelander is the hero. What do you say to that? The show's many things. Subtle isn't one of them. So if that's the message you're getting from it, I just throw up my hands," he responded.

Speaking with Empire regarding the upcoming season of The Boys, Kripke did share that he knows what will happen in that final episode – whenever it may occur. In addition, Kripke addresses the importance of growing the franchise while making sure that they "don't fucking sell out" creatively and offers some timeline clarity on where things pick up when the fourth season begins – and it sounds like good news for Secretary of Defense Bob Singer (Jim Beaver)/Congresswoman Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit) ticket… especially Neuman.

When The End Comes, Kripke Is Ready…: "You can't build a show that's about these two forces of Homelander [Antony Starr] and Butcher [Karl Urban] slowly closing in on each other without bringing that to a head. Whenever that last episode occurs, I know what happens."

On Keeping Creative Focus As "The Boys" Franchise Grows: "I'm very aware of the ironic position this puts us in. I think about it every day, how important it is: even if we're telling more stories in this world, that we don't fucking sell out" (Kripke addressing how a show that satirized "franchise culture" has become a franchise itself).

VP-Elect Victoria Neuman? The Thought Is Mind-Blowing: "I don't think it's a spoiler to say that it opens on election night. Victoria Neuman, a secret homicidal supe, is now the Vice President-elect. In a couple months, she's going to be confirmed and inaugurated — and then she's a heartbeat away from the Presidency, in quite the Faustian bargain with Homelander. So that's a really good ticking clock — and [it gives us the opportunity] to talk stolen elections and using social media to spew disinformation, and trials, and social unrest, and how people in power actually instigate social unrest because it's a political benefit to them."

The Boys
THE BOYS (Image: Prime Video)

The Boys Season 4: Eric Kripke on Sister Sage, Firecracker Insights

During an interview with EW, Kripke shared that Susan Heyward's Sister Sage and Valorie Curry's Firecracker represent the show's twisted take on two more superhero archetypes – "The World's Smartest Person" and "All-American! USA!" When it comes to Sage, Kripke notes that being "a tactical genius" will see her having Homelander's ear – making The Seven leader "much more dangerous." As for Firecracker, Kripke notes that the gun-loving supe sits somewhere to the far right of even VNN's Cameron Coleman (Matthew Edison) – and that she definitely has very similar traits to Donald Trump's potential VP pick, Kristi Noem. Here's a look at what else Kripke had to share about Sister Sage and Firecracker:

Kripke on Sister Sage: "It's such a funny power. A lot of superhero worlds have that character. Whereas most of them are usually really reedy white dudes, we wanted a Black woman who was raised in a low socioeconomic area, so no one f***ing listens to her. It's both commentary and satirical that you have literally the smartest person in the world that could cure all of society's ills, but she just can't get anyone to listen to her. So then she becomes a bitter misanthrope."

Kripke on Firecracker: "It turns out there's always crazier. Firecracker represents both members of the conspiracy-minded movements and the super extreme right-wing news media. That character has some surprising backstory that connects her to some of the characters in our world that it was just interesting to bring in one of those pistol-packing 'I shot my puppies' type of characters."

In Season Four, the world is on the brink. Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit) is closer than ever to the Oval Office and under the muscly thumb of Homelander (Antony Starr), who is consolidating his power. Butcher (Karl Urban), with only months to live, has lost Becca's son and his job as The Boys' leader. The rest of the team is fed up with his lies. With the stakes higher than ever, they have to find a way to work together and save the world before it's too late."

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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