Was This A Fair-Game Spoiler Or Did Lucy Hale Go To Far?

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Was This A Fair-Game Spoiler Or Did Lucy Hale Go To Far?

We've all been there: you're chatting with a friend who just started watching a show that's been off the air for a few years and you let a spoiler slip. Doesn't matter how big or how small the spoiler is, it still becomes A THING. Exhibit A: Lucy Hale accidentally spoiling Pretty Little Liars for Demi Lovato during an appearance on The Demi Lovato Show. Warning: this post contains PLL finale spoilers. Read at your own risk.

Lovato opened the first episode of their talk show by telling Hale how much they was enjoying the Freeform hit, but noticed that some of the plot was a little outdated β€” specifically the part where Aria, Hale's character, dates her teacher, Ezra. "I feel like it's controversial to watch now," Lovato said. "It wouldn't be made that way," Hale responded, before starting to elaborate on the plot. This is when things get dicey. After describing Aria and Ezra's first hookup and the realization that he was her new English teacher, Hale skipped ahead β€” like seven seasons ahead. "They end up getting married," she revealed, causing Lovato to freak out, screaming, "OH NO! OH NO!"

Hale tried the old, "You knew this was going to happen," but Lovato didn't let her get away with it, responding with perhaps the most unintentionally hilarious thing I've heard all year: "I'm only on season three!"

Honestly, even though the show ended in 2017, I find this reaction 100% relatable. I am a passenger on the problematic Ezria ship and being spoiled that early (they're only on Season 3, guys!) would have been devastating. That said, this is 2021. Lovato has had literal years to get on the PPL train, and Hale didn't even spoil the main mystery β€” A's true identity! But, the entire exchange raises the question movie and TV fans have been trying to answer for decades: what is the statute of limitations on spoilers?

For some people, the statute of limitations is over the second the episode airs. (This is something that has gotten trickier as of late, with Netflix, Disney+, and HBO Max shows dropping at midnight on weekdays.) For others, it's a day or week after. The popularity of streaming entire series has also changed spoiler etiquette. Is it possible to spoil a show that has been over for years? Ask Lovato, and the answer is undoubtedly "yes." But is it fair to do so?

Personally, I'm Team Hale on this one. As deeply as I feel Lovato's pain β€” and trust me, I really do β€” at this point it's incumbent upon them, the person watching the old show, to state clearly where they are in the series to avoid being spoiled. Especially if it's been over a year since the finale of said show. As they embark on their talk show journey, let this be a lesson to Lovato and to us all: don't ask questions you don't want the answers to, and always tell people if you don't want to be spoiled.

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