HBO said Friday that it is “extremely proud” of the work of “Big Little Lies” director Andrea Arnold, in response to an IndieWire story earlier that day that said creative control over the series was “yanked away” from her in favor of executive producer and Season 1 director Jean-Marc Vallee.
“There wouldn’t be a Season 2 of Big Little Lies without Andrea Arnold,” said HBO in a statement. “We at HBO and the producers are extremely proud of her work. As with any television project, the executive producers work collaboratively on the series and we think the final product speaks for itself.”
According to IndieWire’s reporting, Arnold had been under the impression that she had creative freedom over the second season, and was not told that her footage would be subject to molding to Vallee’s style.
Arnold’s name began trending on Twitter in California in the wake of the story Friday, and vocal users have been using the hashtag #ReleaseTheArnoldCut to voice their displeasure. In apparent response to the issue, director Ava DuVernay tweeted: “Dear Andrea Arnold. Thank you for all of your beautiful work. Can’t wait to experience more and more. We are lucky to have you. Your fan, Ava.”
“One of the most damning details of the Indiewire report is its suggestion that the new edit scrubbed the season of Arnold’s particular ‘grace notes,’ especially her way of filming between the lines on the page,” wrote Variety TV critic Caroline Framke. “With vanishingly few exceptions, that Season 2 dulled Arnold’s specific voice and more wholly embraced that of writer David E. Kelley is obvious from watching it.”