January 30, 2023

The Witcher showrunner Lauren Hissrich has responded to The Witcher fans, insisting that she “never made fun of the books” on which the video games and the Netflix show are based.

The furore started when writer Beau DeMayo – who is now working on X-Men ’97 – says some of his colleagues in The Witcher’s writing room were “actively mocking” the source material written by Andrzej Sapkowski.

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“I’ve been on a show — namely Witcher — where some of the writers didn’t or actively disliked the books and games (even actively scoffed at the source material),” DeMayo said in an October interview.

“It’s a recipe for disaster and bad morale,” he added. “Fandom as a litmus test checks egos and makes all the long nights worth it. You have to respect the work before you can add to its legacy.”

Since then, fans of The Witcher have flooded Hissrich’s social media channels with complaints about the show thus far, and the vitriol has intensified since we learned that Henry Cavill was backing away from Netflix’s The Witcher adaptation.

“I never made fun of the books,” Hissrich replied to critics on Instagram, breaking her silence on the matter. “The books are my whole livelihood. I have a great relationship with Mr. Sapkowski and writers’ rooms are sacred and safe and – most of all – supportive spaces. Don’t believe everything you read.”

“I have a lot of respect for Beau and the episodes he wrote!” Hissrich later added when someone quoted DeMayo’s words to her. “The striga episode is one of my favorites. He wrote the episode where people came to Kaer Morhen and Eskel died, which had a lot of backlash, but he was brave in telling the story he wanted to tell. There are a lot of balls for need to do that. I respect that.”

Her response was backed up by current writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach, who insisted that the “rumours [about mocking the material] are false”, while Matt D’Ambrosio called DeMayo’s comments “a whole bunch of lies from an ex-writer of the show”.

Instead of Cavill, The Hunger Games’ Liam Hemsworth was set to reprise the role of Geralt of Rivia for the show’s fourth season. Now Netflix is ​​doing what it can to reassure fans that while this will clearly be a change for the series, it will also bring a “different energy” to the show that the producers are excited about.

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