A League of Their Own co-creator Will Graham wants fans of their since-canceled Amazon series to hold out hope that the show will find a new home, as well as for the LGBTQIA+ community who embraced the queer take on Penny Marshall’s beloved movie of the same name.
“We are still fighting for League,” Graham, who changed their pronouns after working on the series, wrote in a lengthy message on social media. “If we have an avenue to do it well, we will continue the show.”
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Amazon on Aug. 18 reversed its plan for an abbreviated four-episode second and final season of the women in baseball show created by Graham and star Abbi Jacobson. The news came after a months-long negotiation with producers Sony Pictures Television in which the studio reduced the show’s licensing fee in order to get the show picked up for a second season. As THR reported at the time, Sony plans to shop League with the hopes that the show, which explored queer and Black themes that were only mildly hinted at in Marshall’s 1992 movie, can find a new home. Scripts for all four of the second season episodes that Amazon planned to bill as a “limited series” were completed before the Writers Guild of America went out on strike May 2.
Graham, in their post, said the WGA needed to “get a fair deal” before Sony and the League creative team can “explore what comes next” for the show as strike rules prohibit members from conducting studio business.
Reps for Amazon told THR that Hollywood’s first dual strikes since the 1960s would have delayed the arrival of League — along with the also unrenewed The Peripheral — to 2025, when the subscription platform already has a heavy roster of originals.
Jacobson, who served as co-showrunner alongside Graham, blasted Amazon for the decision to scrap the show. “To blame this cancellation on the strike is bullshit and cowardly,” she wrote before thanking the show’s vocal fan base. “But this post isn’t about all that. About all the ways this show has been put through the ringer. Not today.”
Graham, in their post, also connected the League cancellation to the state of the world for members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
“In a time when all queer people are personally and politically under attack across the country and [Human Rights Campaign] has declared a ‘state of emergency,’ my biggest fear is that the many queer fans of League will take this reversal as one more invalidation, one more blow, one more effect of the general politization of our identities,” they wrote. “Most of us grew up feeling invisible, and as we gain strength, the predictable backlash forces are trying their hardest to get us to go back underground.”
Still, they held out hope that there would be a path forward for League given how the show has been embraced by rabid fans. “It’s hard for me to imagine there wouldn’t be a home for a show … that was in the Nielsen top 10 for three weeks, was the top show on Amazon for a month and in the top five for six,” the wrote, pointing to the ways in which the show was recognized by critics and community watchdogs including GLAAD and the HRC.
“If we have an avenue to do it well, we will continue the show,” they wrote. “If we don’t find a good path forward, I will still know that League did what it came here to do and, in its own small way, changed the world.”
Graham previously penned a guest column for THR in which they said the TV industry was at a “tipping point” for queer representation. “GLAAD reports a decline in LGBTQIA+ representation in media this year, and I, along with most other queer writers, can tell you personally that the atmosphere has turned frigid in the past year and a half, and A League of Their Own has been one of the lucky ones,” they wrote in a Pride Month essay in June. “While states are passing ‘Don’t Say Gay’ laws, we’ve seen a corresponding tidal wave of cancellations of shows with strong queer characters — especially female, trans and nonbinary characters.”
Read Graham’s full post, below.
— Will Graham (@WillWGraham) August 23, 2023
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