Journalist Points Out Classic Mistake In ‘White Lotus’ No One Else Noticed


Did you notice this classic mistake? In a recent Tweet, one expert pointed out an inaccuracy in the HBO show The White Lotus. Here’s why the show may want to bring an ornithologist on board as a consultant next season!

‘The White Lotus’ Fan Calls Out Regional Inaccuracy

When The White Lotus premiered in 2021, the show kicked off in Hawaii. Critics praised the dramedy for its incisive writing and stellar performances. Of course, the show’s gorgeous setting didn’t hurt. The second season was no different. The recently wrapped season more than satisfied both fans and critics alike. However, the show’s European setting had one journalist scratching her head.

After the season two finale aired, science and environmental reporter Marissa Ortega-Welch explained that the show repeatedly used regionally inaccurate bird sounds which completely took her out of the story when she heard it. “I’ll tell you who died in White Lotus: me, after having to listen to all those North American hermit thrushes singing in the background of a Sicilian resort. Those birds aren’t found anywhere near Europe!” Oretga-Welch tweeted.

In a later response to the tweet, Welch included a helpful link to a video of the North American hermit thrush’s song. She also linked out to a couple of organizations dedicated to making birding more accessible to everyone!

One of those organizations is Amplify the Future. This nonprofit isn’t only focused on advocating for equal opportunity in birding; it’s also focused on making all STEAM fields accessible to everyone. Welch also linked out to Birdability, a great organization focused on making birding more accessible to people with disabilities.

A Classic Hollywood Problem

There are plenty of Hollywood departments that are focused on accuracy. However, when it comes to nature sounds, it seems like audio technicians and editors just go with whatever sounds the best. One of the best examples of this has to do with an iconic American symbol: the bald eagle. If you think you know what a bald eagle sounds like, you may want to think again.

RELATED: How White Lotus Recreated A Classic Movie Scene, Shot-For-Shot, In Season 2

The sky-piercing cry that we all associate with America’s mascot is actually a complete myth. The problem is that the bald eagle, while a formidable bird of prey, does not actually have a very threatening call. If you didn’t know better, you might guess that the bald eagle’s cry was coming from a far smaller bird.

According to NPR, this misconception was manufactured by Hollywood itself. In old movies, when filmmakers wanted to use the iconic imagery of the bald eagle, they dubbed the bird’s cry with that of a red-tailed hawk. While not as physically distinctive, the red-tailed hawk has a far more menacing cry.

Most of us never notice these little inconsistencies. For others, this knowledge can make it hard to fully suspend your disbelief and enjoy a show—no matter how critically acclaimed it is!

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