?Cancer is an asshole. And we can add this to its lengthy list of awful dick moves: forcing Andy Whitfield, star of Spartacus: Blood and Sand, to quit the show. Whitfield originally had to take a hiatus when he was first diagnosed with a non-Hodgkins lymphoma and had treatment (which is why Starz went ahead with a Spartacus prequel series, Gods of the Arena, due in a bit) but now the cancer has returned, meaning Whitfield needs more treatment, which has forced his to leave the series permanently.
Now, Topless Robot is a nerd blog, so I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t exlain how much this sucks in terms of the show: Spartacus: Blood and Sand was simultaneously terrible and awesome, like an ’90s Raimi/Tapert series (e.g. Hercules and Xena) would be on a pay-cable network — meaning it was full of hilariously gratuitous violence that makes 300 look subtle and dignified, as well as ridiculous amounts of nudity, to the point where there were just random topless chick walking around in the background of scenes (and yes, I know this show really is produced by Raimi and Tapert). I once called it a series made by and for the character of Dermott from The Venture Bros., and I stand by that. It was the guiltiest of guilty pleasure shows; oh, it was terrible, but man, I watched it every single week. I don’t know what Starz will do to the show — cancel it or recast it or what — but it’s a damn shame no matter what.
The more important issue, of course, is the tragedy that Whitfield has to deal with this — a second time, and at such a young age. The show be damned; I just hope Whitfield recovers. I shan’t flatter myself that he or his family read Topless Robot, but they have nothing but my empathies and best wishes. Fucking cancer. (Via Yahoo)