I think it is worth noting that this situation is still developing and therefore some things may change, and also that a huge factor towards impacting season 4 is the Corona Virus pandemic which means everything is unpredictable, but this isn’t what this article is about.
A few months ago, ‘Killing Eve’ (which it’s worth noting has been my favourite show on TV since its launch) was riding high off two seasons of high viewership and massive awards acclaim, and was launching its much anticipated third season.
While that season didn’t quite match the buzz of the first two, it was another ratings juggernaut for the BBC, Jodie Comer delivered another stunning performance, and the show was already picked up for a fourth season.
However, many fans rightly pointed out how Sandra Oh’s Eve has been sidelined significantly this season, and this was made worse when a photo of an all white writers room for season 4 was posted on social media, and Sandra Oh also said she is usually the only non-white person on set.
This caused big backlash online (and despite no public backing from any of her co-stars), Oh did receive backing from the producers and Sally Woodward Gentle stated that the show “must do better”. Despite this statement, we don’t know if any active steps are being taken to make change.
Now, fresh drama escalated yesterday when Jodie Comer’s mystery boyfriend was revealed as James Burke, a man who fans believe they have proof is a republican and potential Trump supporter, and there are more photos of Comer and Burke constantly being revealed and it seemingly is getting worse for them (but it’s important to note this hasn’t been officially confirmed by Burke or Comer). This situation caused outrage among her fans.
Some in the press believed the outrage was at the simple fact she had a boyfriend, but it seems to me that really it was the fact that Comer plays the most famous LGBTQ character on TV right now and her career has massively benefited off the support of that community (she even posted a video for Pride earlier this week where she was described as an ally) but fans see it that in hiding the fact she is dating a republican, her support for these movements may be hypocritical and feel like a betrayal.
Comer has already played multiple LGBTQ characters in her short career so far, and has posted online her support for Pride and the BLM movement, which makes this all the more surprising.
I think it’s important to wait for all the facts and hopefully for Comer or her team to make a statement to clear the situation up before much more is done, but if Comer actively sides with a boyfriend who supports these views etc, I think people have a right to choose not to support her career anymore (although no one has a right to interfere in her personal life or threaten her or her family, and I hope it doesn’t escalate to this as it often can on the internet).
As for Killing Eve season 4, I think it will still happen as all the scripts are written and it hasn’t been anything offensive Comer herself has done that would warrant her being removed from the show, but I do think it will have a big drop in viewers and buzz if this situation isn’t resolved, and could lead to an awkward on set environment as Comer’s co-stars are a person of colour and a member of the LGBTQ community, who you would imagine (without ever wanting to speak for them) cannot be on board with how this is playing out.
I love Killing Eve, and as someone also from a working class English background, I’ve always really loved Jodie Comer and I really want this situation to somehow explain itself and not be the ‘scandal’ it seems to be and we can move on, but the longer her silence, the bigger the troubles grow for her in this new Twitter age.
One thing that remains unquestioned is that Comer is one of the most talented and versatile stars in the world right now, and I hope she doesn’t allow her personal life to affect her career opportunities.
At the end of the day, she should be allowed to date who she wants without people ‘cancelling’ her, but on the flip side, her passionate fanbase are allowed (as long as it doesn’t become abuse) to decide they no longer support her if her beliefs don’t match theirs.
I think this is very much a developing situation.