If you’re a Vanderpump Rules fan, then by now, you’ve probably heard about the latest in a long line of casting shake-ups that have led many to wonder if the show will ever return.
Over the weekend, Jax Taylor was fired after eight seasons as the show’s pre-eminent villain.
While a large segment of viewers vocally hated Jax — and many have been calling for Taylor to be fired for over a year — it’s difficult to imagine the show going forward without him, especially since he’s not the only one to be ousted.
In addition to Jax getting the axe, his wife, Brittany Cartwright, has been informed that she no longer has a place on the show.
Back in June, Stassi Schroeder and Kristen Doute were fired from the show following a scandal in which they were accused engaging in racially-motivated harassment of Black castmate Faith Stowers.
There’s been no official word on the cause of Jax’s firing, but it’s widely assumed that he was dismissed as a result of his role in bullying Stowers, as well as several instances of abuse and bigotry in which he’s been involved over the years.
In any event, he won’t be missed — and he seems to be acutely aware of that fact (more on that later).
That said, it’s almost impossible to imagine a version of the show that doesn’t involve three of its best-known cast members, and the situation has led to widespread rumors that Vanderpump will be canceled.
On the latest episode of his morning radion show, however, Bravo president Andy Cohen claimed that the show — which is currently on hiatus due to anti-Covid measures in Los Angeles — will eventually return to filming.
"Listen, they’ve got Lala [Kent], James [Kennedy], Scheana [Shay], Tom [Sandoval], Tom [Schwartz], Katie [Maloney], Arianna [Madix], the new people," Andy shared.
"I mean, that’s a solid cast. When that show’s going to start shooting again, I have no idea, but I’m excited. I’m excited for there to be a shift also."
An insider corroborates Cohen’s claims, noting that while the show has not been canceled it is permanently on indefinite hiatus.
"With so many uncertainties during the COVID pandemic, showrunners are telling the crew that the show has not been canceled," the source tells E! News, "but the upcoming season is currently on hold and asking them to please sit tight until the future is more clear."
Normally, we’d predict that Bravo will host a final season, if for no other reason than to capitalize on the free publicity surrounding all the recent departures.
Of course, some of the "new people" mentioned by Cohen have also been fired.
Though the move didn’t attract nearly as much attention, Max Boyens and Brett Ciprioni were fired the same day that Kristen and Stassi were let go.
So needless to say, if the show does return, it’ll look very different than it did in years past.
Of course, the main issue on the minds of many fans these days is not the future of Pump Rules but the mental state of the notoriously unstable Jax Taylor.
As for the question of how Jax is handling the humiliation of being publicly fired, the answer is — he isn’t. At all.
In the comments to his Instagram announcement (in which he pretends that it was his decision to leave the show), Jax vaguely hints at a "more family-oriented" project and says that at 41 he’s "too old to pretend to work at SUR" anymore.
"Because it’s time to move on…. we had a good run. It doesn’t make sense anymore," he wrote.
We’d say what really doesn’t make sense is two married people quitting their jobs during a pandemic with their first child on the way, but go off, Jax.
Of course, Taylor can deny it all he wants, but the truth of the situation remains that he and his wife were both fired as a result of his consistently horrendous behavior.
Hilariously, the situation has left Jax extremely vulnerable to the many enemies he’s made over the years, most notably Vanderpump newcomer Charli Burnett.
Jax clashed with Charli during the most recent Vanderpump reunion special, and now it seems she’s reveling in his recent misfortune.
During the filming Jax shouted at Charli and encouraged her to "know [her ] role."
She had her revenge this week, tweeting:
“I guess I do know my role, and it’s employed.”
Yes, folks, polite society and human decency have finally triumphed over the villainy of Jax Taylor.
Maybe 2020 hasn’t been so horrible, after all.