Netflix’s The Witcher showrunner disputes claims the show’s writers “mocked the books”

The Witcher showrunner Lauren Hissrich has responded to The Witcher fans and insisted she has “never mocked the books” the video games and Netflix show is based upon.

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

“I’ve been on show – namely Witcher – where some of the writers were not or actively disliked the books and games (even actively mocking the source material),” DeMayo said in an interview back in October.

“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’re allowed to add to its legacy.”

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

“I’ve never mocked the books,” Hissrich replied to critics on Instagram, breaking her silence on the issue. “The books are my entire livelihood. I have a great relationship with Mr. Sapkowski and writer’s rooms are sacred and safe and – more than anything – supportive spaces. Don’t believe everything you read.”

“I have great respect for Beau and the episodes he wrote!” Hissrich added later when someone quoted DeMayo’s words back to her. “The striga episode is one of my favourites. He wrote the one 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. It takes a lot of balls to do that. I respect that.”

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

In Cavill’s stead, The Hunger Games’ Liam Hemsworth would be taking over 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.