Abbi Jacobson responds to angry reactions to A League of Their Own : 'Representation matters so much'

·3-min read

Abbi Jacobson has a message for any viewer who might be upset about Black and queer representation in the new A League of Their Own TV series: There's no crying in baseball.

Inspired by Penny Marshall's 1992 film, the new A League of Their Own follows in the footsteps of that beloved original, once again focusing on a team of women who fight to play professional baseball at the height of World War II. Like the film, the show is a joyous celebration of America's favorite pastime, following the Rockford Peaches as they compete in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

But as co-creators Jacobson and Will Graham previously told EW, their goal was never to remake Marshall's original film. Instead, they wanted to expand the world that Marshall helped introduce, focusing on new stories and new characters within the world of women's baseball. Some of those stories include themes that the movie only hinted at, like sexuality and race.

In a thread posted to the show's official Twitter account, Jacobson called out critics who are "angry and mad" about how A League of Their Own spotlights stories about queer people and people of color.

"I've been pretty blown away by the response this weekend," Jacobson wrote on Twitter "I was really changed learning about this generation of women. I feel really proud of this show and to know its resonating with people really means a lot."

"On the flip side," she continued, "I have seen a lot of people angry and mad at our inclusion of more experiences (POC, QWOC, queer) and that anger (aka fear) has only made me more sure about why this reimagining needed to be made. Why representation matters so much."

A League of Their Own
A League of Their Own

Prime Video Abbi Jacobson and Chanté Adams in 'A League of Their Own'

Jacobson stars in the Amazon Prime Video series as small-town catcher Carson Shaw, who joins the AAGPBL and lands a spot on the Rockford Peaches. She quickly bonds with her teammates (including Roberta Colindrez, Kelly McCormack, Priscilla Delgado, Melanie Field, and Kate Berlant) and strikes up a romance with the Peaches' first basewoman (played by D'Arcy Carden). She also befriends local pitcher Max Chapman (Chanté Adams), an ambitious Black ballplayer who dreams of playing professionally but is forbidden from trying out for the AAGPBL because of her race.

Jacobson and Graham previously told EW that they threw themselves into research while writing the show. Max, for example, was partially inspired by real-life Black female ballplayers like Mamie JohnsonToni Stone, and Connie Morgan, who helped break barriers by playing with men in the Negro league. Jacobson and Graham also consulted with real-life AAGPBL players like Maybelle Blair, who publicly came out as a lesbian this year at the age of 95.

Reaction to the new A League of Their Own has been overwhelmingly positive, and it's currently certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, boasting a 94 percent critics' rating. (EW's own Kristen Baldwin gave it a B+, praising the show for "expanding the Peaches' universe in diverse and meaningful ways.")

A League of Their Own is streaming in full now on Prime Video.

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