Even before it was released The Boys was already setting its sights on a hugely popular piece of the world when it targeted superhero media, culture, and studios. As the Amazon Prime series rolled out all its episodes though it became clear that this series, much like the comic that it's based on, would be using the window of big comic book media as a door to comment on a variety of other things, including government overreach, celebrity worship, and (ironically) major corporations. Speaking in a new interview, series showrunner and executive producer Eric Kripke has opened up about some of the negative reactions his show has gotten from some viewers, including threats made against him.
"There was never any resistance from my studio or my network. I think, by and large, the majority of viewers understood that it's satire," Kripke told Consequence of Sound. "And we have a very specific rule that we try to follow, which is, it was George Carlin who originally said it: 'You always want to punch up. You never want to punch down.' So, sometimes a joke will make us laugh, and we'll love it. Then as I ruminate on it, I'll see that we're making fun of somebody who or something that actually doesn't have a lot of power. We shouldn't be doing that. We should always be punching up at the people who are more powerful than us and have more authority. I think that demonstrates a humanistic worldview."
Kripke said that he got some advice from executive producer Seth Rogen, who told him "You can really be as outrageous as you want as long as you really make it clear to the audience that your heart is in the right place," which has been another guiding light for him in creating the series and a philosophy he believes has worked .
"I got almost no blowback from the public (after season one)," he added. "[Regarding the threats I did receive], it's only human nature to have to react to anger or hate directed right at you. I'm not gonna lie and say, 'No, I think it's funny.' It affects me. It troubles me and everything, but I think it's part of my job to not let it affect the work and not let it force me to second guess myself and what I'm doing here. So, no, I take a moment, feel appropriately horrified, and then process my way past it and get back to the work of writing the show."
Both seasons of The Boys are now streaming on Amazon Prime with production on the third season scheduled to begin in the first part of 2021.