Netflix has never really had the best track record when it comes to supporting projects that highlight the LGBTQ community. In fact, their history of promoting and preserving queer content is pretty heinous as far as streaming platforms go, originating with the tone deaf cancellation of Sense8, one of the platform’s first queer-centered shows, during Pride Month in 2017. Back then, the reason given was that the show’s high budget, which included flying the cast and crew around various points of the world to shoot on-location, wasn’t matching viewership numbers –at least, in the eyes of Netflix stockholders. However, Sense8 had garnered such a dedicated international following, that fans of the series were able to convince Netflix to at least film a two-hour finale movie to wrap up the massive cliffhanger viewers were left with at the end of season two.
Unfortunately, the disrespect Netflix has shown series that heavily feature characters from the LGBTQ community, particularly queer women, has only gotten worse in the wake of the Sense8 controversy. Within the past few years alone, there has been almost a dozen shows that had queer female characters at the center that have only received one or two seasons from the streaming platform. Everything Sucks!, I Am Not Okay With This, Teenage Bounty Hunters, First Kill, and, most recently, Warrior Nun, are just some of the shows Netflix has chosen to end prematurely.
While ratings and viewership have fluctuated amongst these shows, the message Netflix is sending out about shows that feature queer women is crystal clear: if the show doesn’t turn into a mega-hit, the story isn’t worth continuing to us. Netflix has always been upfront about how their way more interested in landed new subscribers than they are about how to hold on to the subscribers they already have. Therefore, there is a hefty amount of new content added to the streaming service on a regular basis, but it’s rare that a show turns into a Stranger Things-level hit, so viewers waste their time on binging a season of a show, only for it to be canceled after a single season. It’s true that Netflix does this with a lot of shows, however, it’s track record shows this happening disproportionately to more and more female-fronted queer series.
The latest affront being the cancellation of Warrior Nun after the release of it’s second season, despite the series being the only Netflix show to garner a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes, mainly thanks to thousands of viewers who offered up their opinion on their series. The show remained in Netflix’s Top 10 on an international level for the first three weeks following it’s release, even going as far as to bring the first season –which aired almost two years ago– back into the Top 10 along with it.
Thanks to the “Avatrice” queer romance at the heart of the series, the show immediately gained online buzz, particularly in the Twitterverse, with the show receiving almost 3 million supportive of fans, which include celebrities like Snooki and Lucifer‘s Lesly Ann Brandt, as well as politician James Thompson, tweets since it’s cancellation announcement. In addition to it’s praise on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s also received support from Forbes, The New York Times, and multiple entertainment sites who have added the show to their “Best of 2022” lists.
With this much adoration for a show that received zero promotional effort from Netflix on it’s second season, a third season renewal seemed like a no-brainer. Instead, it seems like someone with no brain is steering the ship at Netflix, who continues to turn a blind eye to it’s treatment of the queer community and the shows they love.