How Willow And Warrior Nun Have Found Themselves In The Middle Of A Representation Campaign After Cancelation

Nobody likes it when their favorite show gets canceled, but in the era of streaming series, it feels like the odds of your favorite show getting canceled are pretty high. Lots of shows, including some high-profile offerings, don’t make it past their first season or two. And with the recent news that Willow won’t be getting a second season anytime soon (if at all) some fans are noticing that a common thread in many recent cancellations from Willow to Warrior Nun, is that shows being canceled have prominent LGBTQ+ characters or storylines.

We’re used to seeing fan campaigns on social media after shows get canceled. Whenever it happens the fans who want to see more try to drum up support to either reverse the decision, or if possible, convince some other streaming service or network to pick up a show. But what we’re seeing much more prominently now is a collective campaign for representation, because these recent cancellations mean fewer queer characters on the screen overall.

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Disney+'s Willow included two characters Kit, daughter of Madmartigan, and Jade, the soldier in training sworn to protect her, who were also very much in love. It wasn’t a major plot point or focus of tension in the show, it was just an element of these characters, and fans were clearly very supportive of it.

But now with the word that Willow will not be moving forward with a Season 2, those fans are frustrated. While showrunner Jon Kasdan clapped back at the idea that Willow had been canceled, saying only that actors had been released from contracts, and that there were no specific plans to film Season 2 in the next 12 months, it does make more of the show highly unlikely.

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If Willow were an outlier, that might be one thing, but it doesn’t feel like the case. Fans see Willow as another shot against representation. Its cancellation follows that of Warrior Nun on Netflix, which got a second season but was canceled shortly thereafter. Another high-profile series, Amazon’s A League of Their Own, was given a second season, but only four episodes, half the size of the first season.

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There are, of course, other shows with LGBTQ+ characters and storylines that are surviving, but it’s perhaps understandable why fans would feel this way. LGBTQ+ characters have always been underrepresented on the screen, and while we’ve seen positive steps to rectify that in recent years, when the shows end up getting canceled it feels like we’re seeing steps taken backwards.

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It will certainly be interesting to see if focusing the campaign on representation rather than the specific shows has a different impact. While seeing these shows revived in some way seems like a long shot, we’ve certainly seen long shots like these pan out in the past. 

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.