Ethan From ‘The White Lotus’ Is The Worst And I Will Die On This Hill

Picture of Ethan (Will Sharpe) From 'The White Lotus' against a blue speckled background

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This season, every White Lotus character feels like they’re competing for the honour of most insufferable, and right now everyone is winning. 

It was a close race at the start. Portia got ahead early with her unwavering apathy on a free work trip to a Sicilian resort. Dominic’s emotional manipulation amid his impending divorce triggered my PTSD. Cameron was an obvious frontrunner too, to the point where his complete lack of redeeming qualities was starting to get dull. 

But what about Ethan? Lurking, underwhelmingly, in the shadows? A character of very few words; he sometimes comes off as too boring to truly hate. But throughout this season, he displays an abundance of shitty behaviour, which I will lay out here. 

Does He Even Like Harper?

First impressions are everything, and as soon as we meet Ethan he’s sitting on a Sicilian boat keeping a wide berth from his wife, Harper (Aubrey Plaza). Now I’m sorry, but this is weird as hell. I know physical touch isn’t everyone’s love language, but damn Ethan, it’s a holiday! Not even an arm around the shoulder? If my man sat that far away from me on a romantic trip to Sicily, I’m not sure I’d want him. 

Seriously, Does He Even Like Her?

Before you say anything about PDA not being everyone’s thing, it’s not just Ethan’s lack of affection towards his wife in public. When Harper goes to sleep in the first episode, Ethan stays diligently remains on his laptop. Again, it’s a holiday. In Sicily. I’m gonna need you to hug your wife, otherwise I have some serious concerns.

And then there’s the situation where Harper catches Ethan masturbating after his morning run.  And look, there’s nothing wrong with taking things into your own hands when the situation calls for it. But turning down your hot wife when when she makes it clear she wants to tag in? What on earth?

Fuck The Bro Code

The moment I truly lost all respect for Ethan was when Harper and Daphne came back from Noto while he and Cameron really, uh, made the most of their night away. Ethan spent the majority episode lying to Harper about what really happened, and for the life of me I still can’t process what he was trying to achieve. 

By way of a recap: Cameron cheated on Daphne. Daphne told Harper that she knows Cameron cheats on her, and she’s made peace with it. (Weird.) Harper then told Ethan, so Ethan now knows that both Harper and Daphne know about Cameron’s infidelity.

So why lie to Harper for Cameron’s benefit?

Also worth noting is that Cameron asked Ethan for money by investing in his company; so Harper was right in thinking that Cameron had an agenda for inviting them on a luxurious holiday. 

And yet, he repeatedly chooses to lie to Harper all because Cameron asked him to keep it on the DL.

Respectfully, Ethan, what the hell? 

Ethan Is The Worst And I Will Die On This Hill

Everyone on The White Lotus has a good shot at finishing the season off as the worst character on the show. The only thing keeping me going at this point is wanting to know who died, even though that’s apparently the least of creator Mike White’s concerns. 

But where the other characters range from annoying to insufferable, Ethan is straight-up baffling. Why did he choose to protect Cameron by repeatedly lying to Harper? What exactly was he trying to achieve? 

I can only come up with two theories: one, he’s completely dense and can’t process two competing priorities; or two, he genuinely doesn’t like his wife. 

Either way, if the show ends with Ethan’s untimely demise, I for one won’t be too upset about it.