Fans of teen dramas like Euphoria and 13 Reasons Why need look no further for their latest binge-watch: Netflix’s Grand Army has already been compared to both series, with critics citing the ensemble cast of fresh faces and the bleak yet watchable storylines.
However, the series has already attracted controversy behind-the-scenes, following allegations that three writers quit the series due to “racist exploitation and abuse”.
Here’s everything you need to know about Grand Army.
When is Grand Army on Netflix?
Grand Army is set to premiere on Netflix on 16th October 2020.
Grand Army plot
The series is loosely based on the play Slut: The Play by Katie Cappiello, who also executive produces the show and writes various episodes.
The show focuses on five students attending a large Brooklyn public high school, and deals with topics ranging from racism to sexual assault.
The first episode, titled “Brooklyn, 2020”, sees a bomb go off close to the school, and delves into the impact it has on the students.
Grand Army cast
The five main characters are aspiring musician and student Jayson (played by Maliq Johnson); basketball enthusiast Dominique, a.k.a. Dom (Odley Jean); isolated Leila (Amalia Yoo), an adoptee who struggles to reconcile her Chinese heritage and her upbringing with white parents; school swimmer Sid (Amir Bageria); and popular school dancer and feminist Joey (Odessa A’zion).
What is the controversy surrounding Grand Army?
On the day of the teaser release Ming Peiffer, a former writer on the series, alleged on Twitter that she and “[two] writers of color who worked on the show quit due to racist exploitation and abuse”. She also cited allegations of racism against “the show runner and creator”.
Me and the 3 writers of color who worked on the show quit due to racist exploitation and abuse. The show runner and creator went full Karen and called Netflix hr on the Black writer in the room for getting a haircut. Yes you read that correctly. Who wants to interview us? https://t.co/tBEbk8JRqm
— Ming Peiffer (@mingpdynasty) September 2, 2020
In her thread she continued: “Sorry 2, 3 writers including me. Aforementioned tweet is just top of the iceberg. I’m sickened they chose this wording for the tweet and are whoring around the American flag in the trailer as though anything about this project was united.
“It matters who hears you, who says ‘I understand’” this s**t just writes itself. Really heard & understood us when we told you how exploitative the show was.
“Tried to underpay the LatinX writer who just won an Emmy meanwhile creator had never worked in tv b4 but the 3 of us had.”
Katie Cappiello, who created Grand Army based on her play, has not publicly responded to the allegations made by Peiffer.
Grand Army trailer
The trailer for Grand Army dropped on 6th October 2020 – you can watch the teaser below.