grease rise of the pink ladies dance scene

Screenshot via Paramount+

‘This is wild’: People react to ‘Grease: Rise of The Pink Ladies’ digitally editing a character’s face after the actor’s apparent departure

The character also talked off-screen during the scene.


Olivia Hebert

Internet Culture

The new Paramount+ show, Grease: Rise of The Pink Ladies, has gotten a lot of praise for its charming story and talented cast, but it’s also come under fire for a Photoshop fail. Eagle-eyed viewers took to Twitter to point out the snafu from an episode of the series.

In the eighth episode, “Or at the High School Dance…,” there’s a scene where the drama’s going down at the school dance, and Marisa Davila’s character Jane is at the center. Buddy, played by Jason Schmidt, is admitting that his dad and Nicholson rigged the boats, seemingly betraying Jane. Shocked, she begins to walk away, and Buddy tries to follow her, but Richie steps in to tell him to leave her alone.

But when the camera shows Richie’s face, Twitter user @yugiohtas points out that it was seemingly
photoshopped. Richie’s actor, Johnathan Nieves, apparently left the show by the seventh episode, and given that he’s one of the male leads, his departure made it difficult for the show to shoot around him. (The Daily Dot could not independently confirm when the actor left the show, or for what reason.) In the high school dance scene, Richie talks off-screen and when he is shown, his face is expressionless.

The production team apparently decided to digitally edit a still image of his face onto a stunt double. Richie was a crucial figure in the plot, and his exit likely caused production to scramble with rewrites. At the end of episode 8, Richie is arrested and sent to jail. After that, he is only shown from behind. In episode 9, he is sent off to military school, concluding his arc.

Some Twitter users, like @al_anzola, commended the production team, “Sounds like a solid solution given the short turnaround time and (probably) tight show budget, and the creative team should be applauded!”

One criticized, “ Even I could have hidden that better.”

While another lamented, “Oh man, I hate that this is gonna be the reason people hear about the show and not because of how charming it is.”

In its first season, Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies clearly has had a few kinks to work through. But one thing you can’t knock the show down for is its ability to adapt to the situation and come up with a solution on the fly, even if the result was a bit uncanny valley.

The Daily Dot reached out to Paramount+ for a comment, but the company did not immediately respond.

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