We will miss you Leighton
BY ELLA PORTEOUS, IMAGE BY HBO MAX
On Monday (10 July), Reneé Rapp announced on her social media that she would be leaving The Sex Lives Of College Girls. This news has devastated queer fans of the show who adored Reneé portrayal of the loveably snobbish Leighton Murray.
The 23-year-old found fame after landing the role of Regina George in the Broadway production of Mean Girls in 2019, before being cast in Mindy Kaling’s Max series The Sex Lives Of College Girls the following year.
Leighton will feature as a recurring character for a few episodes of season three, which currently does not have an air date. However, her character will no longer appear in future seasons.
In the message posted on her socials, Reneé wrote, “Playing Leighton has changed my life. I love who I am 10x more than I did before knowing her. I hope she gave y’all a little bit of that too. She’s such a tiny part of representation but even the tiny parts count”.
The comments quickly filled up with love and support for Reneé, praising her for bringing to life a character who provided such important representation for the LGBTQIA community. Many commented how they felt seen and validated watching Leighton’s coming out journey in season two, adding that Leighton was their comfort character.
However, as the news began to sink in, sapphic Twitter descended into chaos after realising they were losing yet another TV lesbian. Leighton was beloved by fans for her boldness and often meanness, placing her on high ranks alongside other adored mean lesbian characters such as Santana Lopez from Glee and Cheryl Blossom from Riverdale.
Yet, many fans added that they saw this coming. Reneé has been gaining rapid success in her music career, selling out multiple venues on her Everything To Everyone tour earlier this year. Her debut album Snow Angel will be released on 18 August, and she begins her Snow Hard Feelings Tour this September, taking her across North America and Europe.
Last year, Reneé told Variety that her end goal was always music, not acting. She said “[I thought], I can do music on the side, like, I can just hustle. And now I’ve just kept acting because it keeps supporting the music…Acting was my way into tricking everyone that I warranted attention.”
It was also announced last December that Reneé would be reprising her role as Regina George in the film adaptation of Mean Girls: The Musical. With this incredibly packed schedule, it’s no surprise Reneé is saying goodbye to Sex Lives.
We will miss Leighton greatly, but we wish Reneé all the success for her future projects.
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