By James Hibberd
March 13, 2018 at 12:44 PM EDT
  • TV Show

An HBO executive says she regrets her choice of words when discussing the renewal of Big Little Lies.

Francesca Orsi, HBO’s senior VP of drama, was on a panel in Jerusalem at the INTV Conference when she suggested that the star-filled cast’s salary demands “raped” the network.

“From a budget standpoint, going into season 2 of Big Little Lies without any options in place, we’ve been… um… short of raped,” she said according to Deadline.

Orsi has released this statement obtained by EW: “Obviously, I am embarrassed by my poor choice of words. We are extremely proud of Big Little Lies and excited for the second season.”

Here’s the backstory on this: Big Little Lies was originally commissioned as a limited series that aired in 2017. But after generating acclaim and considerable love from the Emmys, HBO decided to turn it into a series (or at least, order a second season). The only problem: They had only commissioned the cast and producers — including stars Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Laura Dern — for the limited series. So the network had to go back and make all-new deals with the cast, who now had considerable leverage over the network, given the show’s popularity. Thus HBO executives may have felt they were taken for a ride at the negotiating table … which would have been a far less controversial way to express it.

Big Little Lies is expected to return in 2019.

Big Little Lies Season 2
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