The showrunner for the Netflix series “Designated Survivor” says he used a Republican as his source of inspiration for a villain in the series.
Writer-producer Neal Baer told The Daily Beast in an interview that in the upcoming season of the series, that he kept Stephen Miller, a top aide to President Donald Trump, in mind when envisioning the character.
The show, which features Kiefer Sutherland as the president of the United States, originally made its debut on ABC but was canceled.
Netflix has since picked up the series to run on its streaming network.
Viewers have seen a difference in the two venues.
One episode into #DesignatedSurvivor Season 3, and I’m not sure what to think. It’s daft and fun as usual, but there is a clear tonal shift following its Netflix move, with f-bombs and more general explicitness, and it will take some time to get used to it. Love @RealKiefer tho. pic.twitter.com/a28BfF0xZv
— Erlingur Einarsson (@ErlingurGretar) June 12, 2019
Baer referred to the new character in the series as “twisted,” saying that using Miller as a reference was “a delicious inspiration.”
The showrunner conceded that the new character played by actor Aaron Ashmore doesn’t look at all like Miller.
“It’s Hollywood,” he said.
“They’re better-looking. Certainly, Aaron Ashmore is more handsome than Stephen Miller,” he said. “That’s where we have to give in to Hollywood. Otherwise, it’s a delicious inspiration.”
However, Baer’s tough comments about Republicans didn’t stop with Miller.
He compared Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to the Islamic State group, saying McConnell is “as bad as ISIS.”
“I am more shocked by Mitch McConnell’s duplicity and pusillanimous actions and his work to completely f— up the country,” he said.
Baer told The Daily Beast, “I don’t think he even believes in any of this stuff.”
“I see Mitch McConnell as being as bad as ISIS. I think he’s as deep a threat to the country as ISIS. And I think he’s a traitor to the country.”
He also took a shot at members of the Republican Party, in general, saying they have a “lapse of humanity amongst them.”
“I try to understand the mindset, and I don’t get it,” he said.
According to The Daily Beast, Baer has been a long time supporter of Democrats and has donated over $330,000 to Democratic candidates since 2003.
Additionally, he has thrown his support for Democratic presidential contender and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg by donating $5,600 to his campaign.
Baer told The Daily Beast, “I think it’s really exciting that there’s a time when somebody who has a range of qualifications can be in the forefront of candidates for president.”
CORRECTION, June 12, 2019: This article originally referred to the actor playing the American president as Donald Sutherland. His son, Kiefer Sutherland, is actually the star of the program. We realized the error and made the correction less than 30 minutes after publication, and apologize to both Sutherlands for the confusion.
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