The Cancellation of Sapphic Shows

Women wearing the colors of the pride flag by Isi Parente. Unsplash

Representation: something everyone deserves to have, whether in the government or something as simple as the media. However, many minorities aren’t represented in the media, and even the slightest bit of representation they have are being taken away. This is especially evident with the increasing number of sapphic(or women love women) shows being canceled. 

Media has progressed with a plethora of LGBTQ+ representation, specifically shows like Heartstopper and Young Royals becoming fan favorites and holding the #1 place in Netflix’s Top 10. However, while shows with queer male characters are being advertised, shows with queer women are barely hanging on by a thread. For instance, First Kill, a supernatural drama series surrounding the forbidden love between a vampire and a vampire hunter, took Netflix by storm this year. While there were many disputes about the show at first due to the cliche storyline, many fell in love with the series because it had the sapphic representation that’s been lacking in media. However, without plausible reason, it was canceled, leaving many queer women devasted. 

But this isn’t the first sapphic show to be canceled without a definite reason. Many critics believed that First Kill lacked the same quality or reviews as Heartstopper and Young Royals, but it doesn’t explain the cancellation of all the other sapphic shows canceled in the past few years. Many popular shows on Netflix, such as I Am Not Okay With This, Sense8, One Day At A Time, and Atypical, were canceled after the first season, even after high ratings and viewership, with only vague reasons such as doubts about continual interest. These shows all had audience ratings greater than 80%, some even in the 90% range on Rotten Tomatoes. This ultimately begs the question: is the cancellation of these shows really due to a lack of interest, or simply because they revolve around queer women? 

Homophobia, specifically lesbophobia, has been evident in media throughout the years, but it has become increasingly apparent in the past few years. The cancelation of these sapphic shows illustrates how even though queer representation has progressed, the media has to do better and actually allow for shows with the representation of queer women to exist, not just make shows eventually be canceled after one season. Everyone deserves to have representation in TV, and queer women deserve to have their experiences and voices heard in the media. While ratings and views are crucial when making a show, the audience, and the people who are being represented, also need to be considered. 

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