Barbie Ferreira exited ‘Euphoria’ because she didn't want to play “the fat friend”

Barbie deserved better (but she's not bitter)

Editor / April 06 2023

Ask anyone with taste what their favourite Euphoria season one storyline was and they’ll tell you it was Kat Hernandez coming into her own. We loved her right from her virgin piña colada escapades all the way to her empowered emergence as KittenKween.

On that note, ask anyone what their least favourite thing about the show’s second season was, and they’ll say Kat’s lack of plot progression. Getting the point? Barbie Ferreira was one of the show’s greatest assets, and it’s a project brimming with talent, so that's saying something.

So why is Ferreira not returning for the show’s upcoming third run? She just answered that very question…

Why Barbie Ferreira left 'Euphoria'

Appearing as a guest on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast, Ferreira set the record straight about her Euphoria journey. “For me, when people ask me about season two, it’s usually [that] they come at me like I was some sort of victim to season two and I’m always like, ‘no, it’s okay, promise. It’s good,’” she explained.

“I kind of got sucked into this drama that I never asked to be in and that I’ve never talked about. I’m of the mindset that if it doesn’t exist, I’m not going to address it because then I’m adding fuel to it. It’s taken on a life of its own. Don’t believe everything you read.”

As for Kat’s progress, Ferreira confirmed that she didn’t want to take her down a road that didn’t give her the evolution she deserved. Especially if it meant setting her (and the multi-dimensional plus-sized representation she'd helped shape) backward. “I think my character, who I love so dearly, I don’t think there was a place for her to go. I think there were places she could have gone. I just don’t think it would have fit into the show. I don’t know if it was going to do her justice, and I think both parties knew that. I really wanted to be able to not be the fat best friend. I don’t want to play that, and I think they didn’t want that either.”

Ferreira was the one whose character had (seemingly) shattered that very trope, so it's no wonder she didn't want to play into it. Good on her for recognising the character's regression (or at least lack of personal plot progression) and calling time on it, even if it meant exiting a show as influential as Euphoria. That's truly putting the character (and the many, many people she represents, and whom relate to her) first.


However, considering the incredible evolution we saw from Kat in the first season, it’s no doubt disappointing that the show has prioritised the progression of other characters. “It obviously hurts because I love Kat and she was so important to me and I think to a lot of people with all her good and bad, mostly bad, which I love. It was a character I’ve never seen on TV before, and I don't know if we’ll ever get something like that in that specific way that was so edgy [again].”

Kat's effect was incredible, too. The response speaks for itself. "I can’t believe kat is not in euphoria anymore wtf my only plus size hot girl rep gone," one Twitter user shared. "Watching Kat in Euphoria - a plus size lady having an epiphany while having sex with the hottest guy in school gave me a self worth boost," said another.

Even the fans that loved her didn't always like her, proving that she was a fully formed character with good and bad qualities, instead of a character appearing solely as somewhat performative representation. One tweet summed it up well: "People do not understand the impact Kat from Euphoria got on Plus-Size woman. Watching her be confident, fearless sexy, being desire and wearing whatever the F she wants is so uplifting cause we are not used to this at all. Fiscally speaking she's an icon. Morally she's messed up."

That responsibility to those who related to Kat was what helped Ferreira make the final call. “I feel like with season two and having certain parts of it that I felt was a kind of a struggle for both parties – Sam, me – it was a struggle to find the continuation of her, so that was actually really hurtful, watching it and seeing the fans get upset. I don't know, I just felt like maybe, it’s like I overstayed my welcome a little bit. So for me, it actually felt good to be like, ‘okay, I get to not worry about this, and we both don’t get to worry about this’.”


Ferreira isn’t bitter about her experience, either – she’s happy with the decision she made. “Sam writes for like things that he relates to. I don’t think he relates to Kat. I relate to Kat. So I [had to] go on my own path. And at first, I was like, ‘oh my god, I’m a flop. I’m a loser’, [but I ultimately realised it has] really has been a good thing.”

So we’ll say this: let’s remember Kat Hernandez as the latex-loving, bold, confident icon she was. The core Euphoria friend group will never be the same, but Kat’s OG journey changed a lot in the bigger picture. And Ferreira should be damn proud of that.

Main image credit: @barbieferreira

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Delaney began her career in the Australian beauty media industry in 2015, landing amidst the glossy world of women’s lifestyle magazines (or more literally, in their beauty cupboards). Since then, she has gone on to write across a multitude of beloved Australian media brands, including OK!, NW, InStyle, and Harper’s BAZAAR. She’s covered every side of beauty content, from directing beauty editorial shoots to rounding up the best glossy serums for golden hour skin. Having spent nearly a decade immersed in the beauty realm, Delaney’s knowledge of beauty is as extensive as her collection of tinted lip oils (read: extremely extensive). Delaney is currently the Digital Managing Editor of BEAUTYcrew, and her beauty wisdom also appears across beautyheaven, ELLE and Marie Claire. She enjoys channelling her personal hobby (testing beauty products) into her professional work (talking about testing beauty products), and considers perfecting the art of a cat eye in a moving car her life’s greatest accomplishment.

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