“The Summer I Turned Pretty community is one of inclusivity. The hurtful comments directed at cast are not in the spirit of the show.”
BY ELLA GAUCI, IMAGE BY AMAZON PRIME
If you’re like me, then 21 July meant one thing: season two of the teen romcom series The Summer I Turned Pretty was finally here. Falling back into the warm-toned world of Cousins, Amazon Prime’s adaptation of Jenny Han’s BookTube-favourite series is back.
With a new series came a new plotline. Away from the will-they-won’t-they romance of season one between Belly and Conrad, season two takes a far more serious route following the death of our beloved Susannah. And with this new storyline comes Elsie Fisher’s character Skye.
Elsie Fisher, who you may know from films like Bo Burnham’s Eighth Grade, joined the cast as Skye – cousin of Conrad and Jeremiah. As the show’s first non-binary representation, I was excited to see more queer characters in the series alongside Jeremiah (whose queer identity was explored in series one).
However, when you turn to TikTok or Twitter, it seems like fans of the show had a different reaction. From making cringe compilations to misgendering Elsie’s character, there has been a flood of hate online directed at Skye.
And Jenny Han – author of the series – is not impressed.
On an Instagram story, Jenny Han wrote: “The whole Summer cast and crew have worked hard to make a show we hope you will love, and we are so excited to share it with you guys. The Summer I Turned Pretty community is one of inclusivity. The hurtful comments directed at cast are not in the spirit of the show. Please be mindful of what you’re putting out there and of who is seeing it.”
While Skye was not written into the original books, their character has provided some great on-screen visibility for the non-binary community. From correcting people’s use of their pronouns to making maths jokes, Skye is a welcomed addition to the team.
In an interview with the LA Times, Elsie said: “For me, Skye being nonbinary felt important because I think trans people in general, but specifically people who don’t fit into ‘male’ or ‘female,’ can be portrayed as very ‘other than’ and don’t always have those happy endings or any sort of connection to others.”
“It felt important to tell a story that didn’t feel forced and, I think, feels very true to how life works out.”
Sure, you can find a character annoying. Maybe they’re not your cup of tea. But when you’re misgendering a character, mocking their appearance, and making fun of their demeanour – that’s not cool.
As the series continues to unfold, we can’t wait to see how they will wrap up season two!
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