In a statement to Screenrant, F. Gary Gray said, "First of all, I love Michelle. I love her. And I hope she finds some satisfaction moving forward. I personally can only speak for Fate of the Furious. I can only speak for the eighth installment and I personally feel like I think we did a pretty good job."
He added, "Given how strong Charlize's character is in Fate of the Furious – she was an amazing antagonist, hands down one of the best antagonists in the entire franchise. I had a blast working with Helen Mirren – the Queen came in and gave a cameo, I thought she was amazing."
Complimenting Rodriguez herself, Gray said, "I actually enjoyed what Michelle delivered and also Natalie Emmanuel. I can't speak to her personal feelings about the entire franchise because I'm only responsible for one, so I hope as this franchise grows and progresses she finds some satisfaction in how it all comes together, but I can only really speak to this one movie."
Lastly, Gray finishes his defense of the film by stating, "I think that the first female villain by Charlize who was amazing, I don't know if you can include this in that complaint. I'm not really sure, maybe you can, but I don't think so."
When the film became available digitally last week, Rodriguez took an opportunity to air out some qualms she has with the story and executions of Fast 8.
Taking to Instagram, she wrote, "F8 is out digitally today, I hope they decide to show some love to the women of the franchise on the next one. Or I just might have to say goodbye to a loved franchise. It's been a good ride & Im [sic] grateful for the opportunity the fans & studio have provided over the years... One Love."