Greased woke-ness? TV reboot of 1978 film shocks fans with song about white supremacy and non-binary trans characters

7 April 2023, 01:33

The TV reboot of iconic 1978 film Grease tackles topics including 'sexual orientation, gender expression and racial identity'.
The TV reboot of iconic 1978 film Grease tackles topics including 'sexual orientation, gender expression and racial identity'. Picture: LBC / Alamy / Paramount

By Danielle DeWolfe

Fans of the hit 1978 musical Grease have been left shocked after the new TV reboot features characters unrecognisable from the original, choosing instead to tackle gender politics and even featuring a song about white supremacy.

Set in 1954, the series acts as a prequel to the 1978 film despite tackling a host of contemporary topics, including sexuality, racism and gender identity.

The series, entitled 'Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies', launched on Paramount+ on April 6 and includes songs fans will know and love - alongside new original numbers.

The series is also set to broach controversial subject matters - including a student Olivia who allegedly has an affair with her adult English teacher.

Set in 1952, the series acts as a prequel to the 1978 film despite tackling a host of contemporary topics, including sexuality, racism and gender identity.
Set in 1952, the series acts as a prequel to the 1978 film despite tackling a host of contemporary topics, including sexuality, racism and gender identity. Picture: LBC / Alamy

The show is set against the backdrop of Rydell High School, however, the Pink Ladies and T-Birds will instead feature a mix of Black, Asian, Latinx and LGBT characters.

The show's premise sees the four main female characters each overcome obstacles on their journey to form their own musical quartet.

Read more: US Rapper Coolio's cause of death confirmed as fentanyl overdose as family vow to honour star's memory

Read more: Woman and jealous boyfriend jailed for ‘honeytrap’ shooting of lover in south London

Prominent characters in the series include gender nonconforming nonbinary trans character, Cynthia, played by Ari Notartomaso, who struggles to fit in at high school.

"Queerness, gender nonconformity and transness throughout time hasn't always been exactly the same," says Notartomaso, whose character initially wants to join the all-male T-Birds.

Set in 1952, the series acts as a prequel to the 1978 film despite tackling a host of contemporary topics, including sexuality, racism and gender identity.
Set in 1952, the series acts as a prequel to the 1978 film despite tackling a host of contemporary topics, including sexuality, racism and gender identity. Picture: LBC / Alamy

"All of us are a product of the culture that we live in, but it is really special to be able to tell that story of what it may have been like in the 1950s."

The series has already faced harsh criticism, even being labelled the reboot "no one asked for".

A handful of characters are recognisable from the original 1978 hit, with half-Latina, half-Italian Jane, played by Marisa Davila, cast as the older sister to pink haired character Frenchy.

The series has already faced harsh criticism, even being labelled the reboot "no one asked for".
The series has already faced harsh criticism, even being labelled the reboot "no one asked for". Picture: LBC / Paramount+

Meanwhile Mexican-American student Olivia has an alleged affair with her teacher, as Tricia Fukuhara, who plays Nancy as part of the series, plays a Japanese American struggling to conform at high school.

A notable musical addition, a song entitled 'In The Club' even sees affluent white country club founders animated, emerging from a painting in order to sing about white supremacy.

And with John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John nowhere to be seen, Danny Zuko is replaced by a similar character played by Jason Schmidt, with even the show's lead lacking the staying power of their predecessor.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Amanda Abbington quit the show in 2023, citing 'personal reasons'

Amanda Abbington compares Strictly to ‘the trenches’ and says she suffered ‘humiliating behaviour of a sexual nature’

Tom Tugendhat served as Security Minister in the last Tory Government

Tom Tugendhat ‘ready to leave ECHR’ if necessary as he becomes second Tory MP to launch leadership bid

The logo for CrowdStrike and a Spirit Airlines webpage (Richard Drew/AP)

CrowdStrike blames bug that led to global tech outage

Netanyahu has addressed the US Congress

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu addresses Congress as protests erupt on streets of Washington with five arrested

Netanyahu waves

Netanyahu vows to press on with war in Gaza until ‘total victory’

Andrew Tate in sunglasses and black top at the Court of Appeals building in Bucharest, Romania

Andrew Tate defamation case against trafficking accuser can go to trial – judge

Five people have been arrested inside the US Capitol building for attempting to disrupt an address by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Five arrested in US Capitol building for attempting to disrupt Israeli PM Netanyahu's speech

Tributes at the Supernova music festival in Israel

October 7 survivor recounts sexual assault by Hamas attackers

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the United States Congress tonight as he declared the "US and Israel must stand together."

Benjamin Netanyahu declares US and Israel 'must stand together' as he delivers speech to Congress

A Russian serviceman patrols a destroyed residential area in the city of Severodonetsk on July 12, 2022

Russia 'would have to lose over 1.5 million soldiers' to achieve Ukraine war goals, new head of British army claims

Exclusive
Steven Van de Velde will compete at this year's Olympics

Athlete who raped 12-year-old British girl shouldn’t be banned from the Olympics, Paula Radcliffe tells LBC

US Israel Netanyahu

Police use pepper spray as protesters march on Capitol ahead of Netanyahu speech

FBI Director Christopher Wray

Trump gunman researched Kennedy assassination, FBI director says

Exclusive
Seven Labour MPs were suspended

Rebel MP who was suspended by Labour over two-child benefit cap vote claims she was ‘bullied’ by party whips

RAF Typhoon at a base In Lincolnshire

Russia scrambles fighter jets to escort British Typhoons over Black Sea

Salman Rushdie

Man accused of stabbing Salman Rushdie charged with supporting terrorist group