Neighbors & Friends producer is ‘1000% sure’ everyone at FSU will watch Season 2
Yofray Ray dishes on the new cast and responds to the Olo’s controversial use of the n-word
We’ve finally arrived in a post-Olo universe, but that doesn’t mean Neighbors & Friends is behind us. The second season, which introduces a brand new cast and concept, is set to shoot this week in Fort Lauderdale Beach.
Season two includes eight rookie cast members from seven different universities and a game show aspect. “It’s really gonna take people by surprise. There’s actually an objective and conclusion to the show now, not just people drinking and doing dumb stuff for no reason,” Yofray Ray, the show’s producer, told The Tab in an email interview.
Casting this season was "pretty deep," according to Ray. The producer interviewed over 300 people who applied by DMing the Neighbors & Friends Instagram account.
"I made an effort to diversify the cast in terms of schools, looks, ethnicity and what year they are," Ray said. "Everyone will have someone that they connect with and can root for."
When the first season of the reality show aired on YouTube, Ray promoted it on an Instagram account called neighborsnfriends.
On February 25th, Ray directed the show's followers to unfollow the original count and follow a new account he acquired with 92.3K followers. Since the switch, the new account lost nearly 5K followers, presumably mostly made of people like @_ed_instead.
Aside from buying bigger Instagram accounts for exposure, Ray says he learned three things from Season 1.
"If you have cast members that attend a large university everyone from that school will watch, don’t mess around with copyright infringing, and when you have the opportunity to blur someone’s face, do it because it doesn’t change the show it just helps protect their identity," Ray said. "No reason to put people on blast like that when you don’t have to, you know?"
As for the Olos, they’re not all the way out of the spotlight yet. Ray says the Season 1 cast and concept have been picked up by LA-based production company Collins Studios.
Although the show will no longer be set in Tallahassee, Ray is “1000% sure everyone at FSU will watch.” Now that the show isn’t specifically about FSU, “It takes the negative focus away from a university standpoint.”
The show has recently come under criticism for its cast’s use of the n-word, which isn’t bleeped out of the audio or the subtitles. Over the six episode season, three of the non-black Olo's collectively say the n-word a total of 18 times.
“Listen, whether we like it or not people who aren’t black say nigga,” Ray said, "I'm black so by my discretion i gave certain characters on the show a pass."
Ray insisted that the word was never used in a derogatory way on the show and if it was, he would've dealt with it.
“Moe is from Egypt and that’s in Africa so he gets a pass plus Andrade & Fede are Hispanic kids from south Florida so they obviously get a pass.”
Ray does not plan to bleep the word out in the future.
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