The actor has slammed the streaming platform’s “embarrassing” decision to remove the sapphic fantasy show following its cancellation
BY NIC CROSARA, IMAGE BY DISNEY
First Kill. A League Of Their Own. Gentleman Jack. These are just some of the many shows with sapphic representation that we’ve lost in recent years to the alarming “Cancel Your Gays” trend. It’s become so common for shows that centre lesbian and queer women and non-binary people to be cancelled prematurely, despite having dedicated fanbases and high viewing stats.
Whenever I find out that a series features a queer storyline, I am hesitant to get too attached in case it meets the same fate. However, like many other viewers around the world, it was shocking when Disney+ cancelled Willow this year, after just one season. After all, both the 1988 film and the reboot had a huge following and there was clearly so much story left to tell in future seasons.
Set 20 years after the original film’s villain Queen Bavmorda was defeated, the sequel show followed six unlikely heroes who embarked on a dangerous adventure, coming together to save the world.
The sequel has amassed a huge LGBTQIA fandom due to the show’s two leads Princess Kit and Jade being in a queer relationship. It’s rare to see sapphic representation in the genre of fantasy, and even rarer to see an onscreen queer kiss. So when the reboot showed a much-talked-about kiss between Jade and Princess Kit, which reportedly received “no pushback” from Disney execs, it felt like a celebratory moment for improved LGBTQIA representation. That was until it was swiftly axed.
Willow was cancelled just two months after its first season aired. In May, Disney+ sparked even more rage among fans when it removed the reboot from the streaming platform entirely.
Warick Davis, who played Willow Ufgood in both the original film and the reboot, recently called out the entertainment giant on X (formerly Twitter).
I meet lovely people on a daily basis who are fans of #Willow, who are the reason the @DisneyPlus Series was made. Please tell me @WaltDisneyCo, what do I say to these subscribers when they ask why they can’t watch the series any more? #embarrassing pic.twitter.com/tUu9gstkbS— Warwick Davis (@WarwickADavis) October 14, 2023
He slammed the move to remove the existing episodes, calling it “embarrassing”.
“I meet lovely people on a daily basis who are fans of #Willow, who are the reason the @DisneyPlus series was made,” he wrote. “Please tell me @WaltDisneyCo, what do I say to these subscribers when they ask why they can’t watch the series any more? #embarrassing.”
While it’s depressing to constantly see such wonderful shows meet the same fate, there is the potential for hope. The LGBTQIA fandoms that support series such as Willow are hugely dedicated and tirelessly advocate to #SaveOurShows. And we’ve seen this work in the past, most recently with Warrior Nun. Following Netflix’s cancellation of the show, it was announced earlier this year that we’ll be reunited with the characters on the big screen and that it would be a film trilogy.
I truly hope to see Willow saved as well. We deserve more seasons of this wonderful show.
DIVA magazine celebrates 29 years in print in 2023. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQIA media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable.