At a panel in New York, Netflix announced that Girlboss, its upcoming series about eBay retailer-turned-CEO Sophia Amoruso and her Nasty Gal clothing brand, would be available for streaming on April 21st. The series is set to star Britt Robertson (Tomorrowland) as a fictionalized version of Amoruso, and, according to the producers, will be a chance for Netflix viewers to embrace a flawed woman in all her complexity.
The series adapts Amoruso’s 2014 memoir of the same name, which chronicles her start as a rebellious and dysfunctional 22-year-old who, after starting a vintage clothing eBay shop, strikes it big and builds a brand. According to showrunner Kay Cannon (Pitch Perfect 2), she was approached with the book when she was “thirsty” tell a story from a woman’s perspective.
“It felt like every story was about a flawed man,” she said, “which is totally fine. But I was really starving to create a story about a woman.”
“I built a whole career on flawed and fucked up characters,” said Charlize Theron, who’s an executive producer on the show and describes the series as an homage to Amoruso’s life. “I have a love affair with that stuff.”
Cannon and Theron described the process of making the show as arduous, as they came up against network expectations of a likable female lead and whether or not viewers will relate to someone as “abrasive” as Sophia. There was even pushback on the word “girl” being in the title, despite series like Girls and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend earning critical acclaim for portraying complicated women. For Theron, the series is about audiences “connecting with the truth of what women are.”
However, it’s not clear how the series will approach the uglier aspects of Amoruso’s story. Former employees told Jezebel in 2015 that the environment at Nasty Gal poisonous despite its CEO’s positive public persona, and two lawsuits alleged that the company fired multiple pregnant employees. The company filed for bankruptcy last November, and will reportedly be acquired by British retailer Boohoo.
Just how unlikable will Girlboss’ boss be on TV? We’ll find out this spring.