THE BOYS Showrunner Eric Kripke On "Woke" Complaints: "Go Watch Something Else"

THE BOYS Showrunner Eric Kripke On "Woke" Complaints: "Go Watch Something Else"

With season 4 just around the corner, The Boys showrunner Eric Kripke has addressed some of the backlash the series has received for being too "woke."

By MarkCassidy - Jun 08, 2024 08:06 AM EST
Filed Under: The Boys

Prime Video's The Boys adaptation may be known for its extreme gore, dark humor and comic book parodies, but it's never shied away from including sociopolitical satire, and the show has arguably gained more attention for its blistering take-down of America's far right.

Showrunner Eric Kripke has always been very up-front about what - and who - the series is taking aim at, and the writing has proved to be almost prescient with its parallels to current events.

For example, the upcoming fourth season finds Homelander on trial for publicly killing a protestor in the season 3 finale, and the show returns to our screens shortly after former President Donald Trump's numerous convictions.

"It’s happened now almost every season, and we write them sometimes close to two years before they air and again we’ll find that the news is accurately reflecting whatever we’re talking about," Kripke tells THR. "It’s not a spoiler to say that first episode [of season four], Homelander [played by Antony Starr] is on trial. A big concern is 'Can you convict someone that powerful of a crime?' And what does that mean for the various supporters or the people protesting him? Did I know it was going to come out during Trump’s trial? Of course not. But we write what we’re either scared of or pissed off about. Someone asked me last year, about season three, 'How are you so prescient with cops and over-policing in Black neighborhoods?' Well, it’s been a problem for over 100 years. It was a problem five years ago, and, unfortunately, it’s going to be a problem five years from now. It’s always the same shit."

Kripke also responded to the backlash the show has received for being too "woke."

"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. 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."

What do you make of Kripke's comments? Do you plan on tuning in for season 4?

"The world is on the brink. Victoria Neuman is closer than ever to the Oval Office and under the muscly thumb of Homelander, who is consolidating his power," reads the official season 4 synopsis. "Butcher, with only months to live, has lost Becca’s son as well as his job as The Boys’ leader. The rest of the team are 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."

Returning cast members include Karl Urban, Jack Quaid, Antony Starr, Erin Moriarty, Jessie T. Usher, Laz Alonso, Chace Crawford, Tomer Capone, Karen Fukuhara, Colby Minifie, Claudia Doumit, and Cameron Crovetti, along with new recruits Susan Heyward, Valorie Curry, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

The first three episodes of The Boys season 4 will be available to stream from June 13th, with new instalments dropping weekly through to the season finale on July 18.

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Evansly - 6/8/2024, 8:53 AM
Seems like something most people should do if they don't have interest in the content
TheVisionary25 - 6/8/2024, 8:57 AM
@Evansly - you would think so but as evident on here , people love to hate watch or still comment “don’t care” even though they took time to comment which means they might lolw
TrentCrimm - 6/8/2024, 8:59 AM
@Evansly -

Someone in another comments section said they hope they show tones down the violent gore.....this is just not the show for some people.
RolandD - 6/8/2024, 9:05 AM
@TrentCrimm - I don’t watch the show just for that reason but I have plenty of other things to watch and as I said in my other comment, bravo for Kripke standing up for his messaging.
Evansly - 6/8/2024, 9:10 AM
@TheVisionary25 - Yeah seem like a weird way to spend your free time. Like I'm not interested in Bridgerton but I'm not everywhere posting about how much it isn't for me, I'm just not watching it.

That said my girlfriend has hinted at wanting to watch it together ha
Evansly - 6/8/2024, 9:13 AM
@TrentCrimm - And it's ok that this show or other shows aren't for some people. Not everything needs to be catered to make as many people as possible like it. And when people expect it to be catered to them you can help bit think

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TheVisionary25 - 6/8/2024, 9:14 AM
@Evansly - haha exactly

Like if it doesn’t appeal to you , atleast not anymore then don’t watch it

There’s plenty of other stuff out there so I’m sure something will align with your views.
Apophis71 - 6/8/2024, 9:16 AM
@Evansly - My eldest gave in and binge watched Bridgerton the other day, haven't forgiven her for that yet cos as much as I tried to stay busy and not watch it is that sort of show I hate but if on can't help find myself watching in a WTF do folk see in this kind of way.

Those who love it, cool, tastes vary a lot and the production value seems great, as is the acting from what I saw and all that but not for me and that's OK too but don't go around hating on it cos that's just weird, sad and unhealthy.
Evansly - 6/8/2024, 9:16 AM
@TheVisionary25 - Exactly! Sadly that won't happen and they'll continue to get upset about shows and movies that just aren't for them
Evansly - 6/8/2024, 9:19 AM
@Apophis71 - I had an ex over indulge into period pieces and now I'm just not in the mood for them in general.

I have no doubt that it is great but really just something I'm not interested in so I'm not going to watch it
Apophis71 - 6/8/2024, 9:19 AM
@Evansly - Actualy, I don't like using the word hate, too strong a word, not into at all stuff like Bridgerton but kinda do hate the part of me that can't look away from stuff like it when it is on, lol.

As I say, for that type of thing it does seem well crafted and there is a big enough market for that kind of stuff so it's fine but not for me :D
TheVisionary25 - 6/8/2024, 9:22 AM
@Apophis71 - lol, I wonder how you’ll feel about the latest Doctor Who episode then if you aren’t a Bridgeton fan

Speaking of , been meaning to ask , how do you feel about the series this far?.
Evansly - 6/8/2024, 9:22 AM
@Apophis71 - Maybe it's on a different site but I don't see you trashing it every moment you get because it isn't for you.

Almost like you are a mature adult!
Apophis71 - 6/8/2024, 9:28 AM
@TheVisionary25 - I LOVE the new Doctor and Ruby, the episodes themselves are not without issue but enjoyed them all to varying degrees but the landmine ep and the one where the Doctor vanishes were brilliant, up there amongst the best ever modern Who episodes for me personally.

Just watched todays episode and for me, the one I've liked least so a 3/5 (and gets that on the strength of the cast) but as it does play into a genre I don't like I'm sure some will love it more and those who aren't as keen on Ncuti will rank it lower cos it's just that kind of episode.
TheVisionary25 - 6/8/2024, 10:01 AM
@Apophis71 - Boom is the landmine one and might still be my favorite so far (no surprise since I’m a big Steven Moffat fan).

I liked 73 yards as a character piece for Ruby dealing with her abandonment issues ;also considering it was Millie’s first episode she filmed , she gave a great performance)

I thought Rogue was solid and I’m glad we got some silly Doctor Who again after the last few fairly serious episodes and the 2 part finale.

8 episodes is not enough.
HAUSMAN01 - 6/8/2024, 10:21 AM
@Evansly - PREACH
Apophis71 - 6/8/2024, 10:23 AM
@TheVisionary25 - Always needs to be some less serious episodes in the mix and the show has always dipped into different genres to give something for everyone, rare we all agree on rankings of eps. As I say the cast of todays episode were brilliant as were the production values and deffo always need a touch of the silly before heading into what is normaly the most heavy stuff you get with the last episode or two.

Also, I did not want the Doctor to have a love interest again, not against them doing that from time to time (the relationship with River, in the main was great) but for me been too much of it in new Who so there's that too but again that falls into the differing tastes category (not keen on spending much time on love interests in CBM's too).

Having had two episodes I thought were top notch, one that I thought was great up until the end (the Twist musical bit at the end of the Maestro episode was fun but took it down to just good rather than top notch for me) and the rest generaly solid but average with an incarnation of the Doctor and companion I love is for me, overall great and maybe best since Tennant, certainly a close run thing with Matt Smiths run but tend to think I've enjoyed it more than the 11th Doctor.
TheVisionary25 - 6/8/2024, 10:28 AM
@Apophis71 - that’s fair

I think it’s been a solid series thus far though idk if anything will ever eclipse Matt Smith for me …

I have too much of a connection to him and that run but you never know.
captainwalker - 6/8/2024, 10:49 AM
@Evansly - It's programming for everyone by the entertainment industry with direction by the CIA to promote the narrative.

Apophis71 - 6/8/2024, 10:50 AM
@TheVisionary25 - It's hard to say for sure with 6 episodes, loved Matt too but comparing first seasons found this one more fun but maybe that is more down to my mindset, had a LOT going on IRL back then.

I felt Matt realy got into his stride more and more over time. Ncuti and Millie I just feel have come out the gate stronger from the start than Smith and Gillan did but in terms of duo's Matt and Karen did become the best till now for new Who (was Baker's 4th alongside Sladen's Sarah Jane for me prior to that) even if I still ranked David Tennant better when just looking at best Doctor (and to my surprise dethroned Baker as best ever for me).
Evansly - 6/8/2024, 10:51 AM
@captainwalker - User Comment Image
TheVisionary25 - 6/8/2024, 10:55 AM
@Apophis71 - that’s certainly fair , every has their favorite Doctor or era (I wouldn’t be surprised if Ncutii is someone’s favorite already or will be)

That’s part of the fun
WruceBayne - 6/8/2024, 1:59 PM
@TheVisionary25 - “…people love to hate watch or still comment “don’t care” even though they took time to comment“, THIS PART!
RolandD - 6/8/2024, 9:03 AM
I’ve got to admire Kripke for not pulling any punches.
WhateverItTakes - 6/8/2024, 9:06 AM
It's not woke it's satirical
Origame - 6/8/2024, 4:53 PM
@WhateverItTakes - also, what's he talking about? Who is calling homelander the hero unironically?
McMurdo - 6/9/2024, 1:49 AM
@Origame - quite literally no one ever. That's a delusional take on his part.
marvel72 - 6/8/2024, 9:09 AM
Don't worry if I getting anything remotely woke from any show I won't be watching.

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Equivocal - 6/8/2024, 1:06 PM
@marvel72 -

can you define what's woke ?
ANewPope - 6/8/2024, 8:02 PM
@Equivocal - They never can.
Equivocal - 6/8/2024, 8:28 PM
@ANewPope -

I keep hearing about this "woke" thing like it's a bad thing,
and yet
just like you just said:

nobody cares to explain to me how this "woke" thing is bad...
or is it ?

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McMurdo - 6/9/2024, 1:58 AM
@Equivocal - virtue signaling and pandering for the sake of self glorification or glorification on the corporate level. Faux progressivism dominated by covert (but not so covert) or perhaps better stated "veiled" narcissism, often without (for both the hacktivist solo twitter profile or the corporation) adding any real monetary value to the cause being championed. It's not rocket science. Everyone likes to pretend like its hard to define when it's been pretty easy to define for a good while now. It has nothing to do with race, color, creed and everything to do with faux progressivism. It's egomania the brand and we all are supposed to pretend we're too dumb to notice.
Blergh - 6/9/2024, 5:32 AM
@McMurdo - that's a very interesting take! But what differentiates true progressivism from faux progressivism and how do you discern which is which? In terms of "The Boys" I really don't see it as "woke" but just see a mirror of current events being pulled through the parody sector.
Genuinely interested in your take as I do agree that faking progressive ideals for personal gain hurts the agenda more than anything.

How do you feel about progressivism in general? Are you opposed to it in general or do you consider yourself a progressive?
McMurdo - 6/9/2024, 5:51 PM
@Blergh - I don't think the Boys is woke in the slightest. It's a great series. True progressivism is results oriented and involves consistency with historical context. It also doesn't champion violence in any way shape or form to go about forcing results. Mistakes happen but a progressive lives on the notion that we can learn from them. It's not reactionary it's proactive. Most of these campus children are just happy to have a new tragedy to base their identity upon. None of them care about the misogyny of the evil group herald. Look at the gays for Palestine signs......the irony is explosive. It's all masturbatory. And it's sad.
Equivocal - 6/10/2024, 12:51 AM
@McMurdo -


woke is fake progressivism ?

according to your explanation.
clintthahamster - 6/10/2024, 9:55 AM
@McMurdo - "Everyone likes to pretend like its hard to define when it's been pretty easy to define for a good while now."

When someone asks you to define woke, they usually know what the definition is: "aware of and actively attentive to important societal facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice.)" They're just trying to see what insane shit whatever reactionary their chatting with believes it to mean when they say it.

"Look at the gays for Palestine signs......the irony is explosive."

How is it ironic for gay people to oppose the wholesale slaughter of Palestinian civilians?
McMurdo - 6/11/2024, 12:39 AM
@Equivocal - essentially. Yes.
McMurdo - 6/11/2024, 12:49 AM
@clintthahamster - it's ironic because the "defense force" they refuse to condemn for Oct 7th throws homosexuals off of rooftops for having sex and being attracted to their own gender. I'm surprised you weren't "woke" to this, by your old hat definition.

The term woke has changed. It doesn't mean "AWARE OF SOCIAL INJUSTICE" anymore and it hasn't meant that for over 15 years now. Kinda like how gay used to mean happy but now means same sex attracted. Definitions, terms, meaning...changes with time. May be hard to comprehend for some of you but it really shouldn't as it's been happening for centuries now. Just pay the slightest of attention
clintthahamster - 6/11/2024, 7:23 AM
@McMurdo - the "defense force" they refuse to condemn"

Anyone that doesn't condemn the actions of Hamas is a piece of shit. Hamas is a terrorist organization and their actions on October 7th were atrocious.

There's been a concerted (and intentional) effort to conflate all Palestinians with Hamas, which is as irresponsible and absurd as conflating all Israelis with the actions of the Israeli gov't. At the time of the attack, more than half of the population of Gaza was under 18, meaning that they didn't vote for Hamas in 2007, the last remotely free election they had. There's also the matter of Netanyahu propping up Hamas, and suppressing their opposition, because having a villain in power in Gaza is convenient for his goals.

Another false narrative that's been spun out by conservatives for nearly 25 years is that seeking to understand the motivations of terrorists is somehow seeking to forgive them. It's simply not so. If one wishes to prevent future terrorist attacks, it's worth considering what one might have done to piss them off so badly in the first place, and see if that's something one could afford to stop doing.

It doesn't mean "AWARE OF SOCIAL INJUSTICE" anymore and it hasn't meant that for over 15 years now.

Of course the definition of words change over time. But this is not an example of organic evolution. This is an intentional redefinition of the word thats occurred in the last ~5 years (not 15) because saying that someone was against being aware of social injustice sounds bad. This isn't like "literal" coming to mean "figurative." This is like "Groomer" being redefined to mean "someone that acknowledges the existence of sex in the presence of children" (though considerably less dangerous.)
McMurdo - 6/11/2024, 12:49 PM
@clintthahamster - there's been aconcerted effort, both irresponsible and absurd, to refuse to condemn Oct 7th and hamas on college campuses across the country because they are "fighting on behalf" of the Palestinian people. You also do not get to decide what definition organically evolves. That's up to the culture. That's how this works.
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