Next week, HBO’s new show Euphoria comes out. It stars Zendaya in a high school drama that tackles sexuality, drugs, and social media. Drake is one of the executive producers. On the surface, the Toronto rapper seems like a perfect fit. He’s a former child actor whose fictional character in Degrassi was a high school student who dealt with some real shit. But when Zendaya was asked about Drake’s involvement, it didn’t seem clear how the “God’s Plan” rapper contributed.
From ET Online:
“Rapper Drake serves as one of the show’s main executive producers, and it’s been reported that he was one of the loudest champions for Zendaya to be cast in the title role. While the actress herself says she’s not sure what part he actually played, she was appreciative of his involvement in the new series.
“I don’t know if he was involved in the casting, but I will say we’re lucky to have someone who believes in the show,” she shared with a smile.”
Zendaya’s comments raise a popular question: What does Drake, or any celebrity executive producer, actually do on shows like this? Especially since Drake doesn’t own a production house.
It’s a fair question. Let’s break this down. Executive producers need to fund at least 25% of the initial project. They might also help contribute to the vision and other creative aspects. They are NOT required to be on set.
The brunt of day-to-day production for Euphoria has been on HBO and A24, the acclaimed art house that’s responsible for Moonlight, Lady Bird, The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Ex Machina, and more. So if the show earns Emmy and Golden Globes nominations, Drake gets to grace the stage with A24 and HBO to speak on the project. But when the show faces controversy—like showing 30 penises in one episode—Drake can stay away from the details.
When you think about it, this is the perfect role for someone like Drake. He always finds opportunities to connect himself with a rising athlete, artist, or sports team. Look at how he acted during the NBA Finals. After each game he walked through the tunnel like he just played 42 minutes himself. It’s an extension of the thesis I laid out a couple weeks ago in Why Drake’s Stimulus Package Can’t Save Everyone. Sometimes it works, but sometimes it helps Drake more than anyone else.
To say that Zendaya will benefit from Drake’s cosign would cheapen her talent. But that won’t stop Drake from thinking about it that way.
Note – some have jokingly wondered whether Euphoria will suffer from the Drake Curse. But should be dead now that the Toronto Raptors are NBA champions, right??