‘Go Watch Something Else’: Popular Superhero Show Writer Slams ‘Woke’ Complainers

By: Alex Trent | Last updated: Jun 15, 2024

“The Boys” is an irreverent superhero show that takes a subversive look into the genre and asks “What if the Justice League were evil and bad people?”

Its unsanitized aesthetic has drawn a wide variety of fans but not all are happy with the show’s themes. In response to complaints of wokeness from audience members which continued into the release of season four, show writer Eric Kripke is telling complainers to “go watch something else.”

Return of The Boys

Season four of “The Boys” aired on Amazon Prime Video this Thursday, bringing with it the grotesque displays of blood, guts, profanity, and dark humor that fans have come to enjoy from the show.

Advertisement
A Samsung phone with the Amazon app opened up.

Source: Christian Wiediger/Unsplash

However, some audience members also noticed a pronounced focus on “woke” themes that caused some to express their displeasure.

Advertisement

Woke Nonsense

A theme among some of the critics of the woke content is that they felt the show before had something interesting to say, but it got lost in generic anti-Trump, woke sentiments.

Advertisement
The word 'woke' is painted on a street pole.

Source: Danny Burke/Unsplash

“TV show “The Boys” used to be one of my favorites. Pointing out the elites evil tendencies in the form of “superhero’s”. Now it pivots to say Trump people bad other people good. Along with every scene injecting woke nonsense+ new strong smart female black character,” said a user on social media platform X.

Complaints of Wokeness

While critics of the show acknowledge that some “woke” elements have always existed, they think it has been harder to consume over time.

Advertisement
A close-up photo showing a person's hands over a laptop keyboard. The left hand wears a silver wristwatch while the right hand sports two rings, and both hands appear to be mid-typing or navigating the laptop

Source: Anton Jansson/Unsplash

“F*ck even the Boys S04 has gone woke,” said one X user. “Take out the woke and the show is great. We’re not offended, we’re disgusted.

Wokeness Increasing

Some commenters felt that “The Boys” had a balance of wokeness that it managed to strike before, but the latest season has destroyed that balance.

Advertisement
A man on a laptop in a cafe worried with his head in his hand.

Source: Tim Gouw/Unsplash

“The Boys has turned the woke meter up to 1000 and it’s disappointing af. Just awful,” said an X user.

Ruining a Great Series

Those audience members who bristle against woke themes in the show feel like the political message has taken over the storytelling in a bad way.

A woman covers her face in disappointment.

Source: Dev Asangbam/Unsplash

“So true, it’s really bad. Not only that, but the writing is just awful now as well. Characters are just sitting around complaining about things the whole time. And they completely butchered the story line. They ruined another great series with their nonsense,” said another X user.

Advertisement

Social Agenda

In an interview published June 7 with The Hollywood Reporter, show writer Eric Kripke gave candid thoughts on his feelings about fans of the show who don’t like the social agenda he infuses in it.

A person at a rally holds up a sign stating "End Systemic Racism" with a crowd and monuments in the background

Source: Clay Banks/Unsplash

“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,” Kripke said.

Advertisement

Always About Trumpism

In the interview, Kripke asserted that “The Boys” was always about the topic of Trumpism when asked about the intent of the show.

Former President Donald Trump speaking at an event, gesturing with his right hand, wearing a dark suit and blue tie

Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

“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 said.

Advertisement

Presidential Parallels

This latest season of “The Boys” features a presidential election, which mirrors the one happening at the same time in the real world United States, with the character Homelander on trial. According to Kripke, the plots for the episodes are written “close to two years” before they air, and the timing just happened to line up.

A close-up of a judge holding a wooden gavel on a wooden surface.

Source: KATRIN BOLOVTSOVA/Pexels

“We were already heading there anyway, but we’re talking about an election and a president and when the votes are counted in Congress. It’s odd to call it good luck, but sometimes we feel like we’re Satan’s writers room,” said Kripke.

Advertisement

A Story About Authoritarianism

Kripke said in the interview that he felt an obligation to focus the show on a critique of fascism in response to observations he saw about real-world events.

Trump makes a 'crazy' gesture near his head during a speech.

Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia

“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,” Kripke said.

Advertisement

Writing About Current Issues

According to Kripke, the writers for “The Boys” try to take inspiration from things happening in the culture to turn them into themes in the show that have been concerns for years.

Police officers from the Oakland police handcuff a suspect

Source: U.S. Marshals Service/Wikimedia

“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 sh*t,” said Kripke.

Advertisement

Not Pulling Punches

Kripke affirmed his commitment to not pulling any punches on his messaging, despite his experience with some fans “not getting” the point of certain characters like Homelander, who has become a kind of stand-in or mirror for Donald Trump.

A man punches with his fist in the foreground and himself and the background are blurry.

Source: Dan Burton/Unsplash

“I’m certainly not going to pull any punches or apologise for what we’re doing. Some people think Homelander is the hero. What do you say to that? The show’s many things. Subtle isn’t one of them. If that’s the message you’re getting, I just throw up my hands” Kripke said.

Advertisement