Disney+ has canceled its ultra-woke “Willow” series based on the iconic 1988 film of the same name.
The live-action spinoff featured a transgender actor and heavily focused on a gay romance between two main characters.
The series debuted in November with eight episodes and featured Warwick Davis returning to play the title character of Willow Ufgood. It is set 20 years after the film’s original story.
Davis supported the woke storyline, pointing out that the original Willow was made after he, a little person, had charmed George Lucas when he played an Ewok in Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi.
“I think it’s so important that art reflects what we see in the world,” Warwick told Inverse, discussing the diversity of the cast and LGBTQ focus. “You know, people with dwarfism are often not represented properly in film and in television. But we do see that in Willow [the movie and the series]. And we’d love to actually expand upon that if we do more seasons.”
The story is loaded with LGBTQ content beginning in the first episode with a teenage princess who hates dresses and is in love with her best friend — who she soon kisses.
Transgender actor Talisa Garcia also plays a non-transgender female queen in the series. Before the show’s launch, and subsequent flop, Deadline reported that “the casting also marks the first known time a trans actor has portrayed a cis character in a Disney+ film or series. During the shoot, we hear there was pride and support among many of Garcia’s colleagues about her casting.”
When asked about the queer relationship being front and center by a reporter from Polygon in November after the show’s premiere, producer Jonathan Kasdan said he received no pushback from Disney.
“There was no pushback,” Kasdan said. “What’s interesting is — I hope and I believe we’re at a moment where you’re going to see a paradigm shift in that. And hopefully, the way that it’s gonna happen is that these kinds of [queer] stories, particularly like this one, that were just organic to the narrative we were telling, find their way in, and it becomes less of a surprising and unusual thing to see.”
Kasdan pointed out that the original Willow was not nearly as diverse as his project is.
“Because it’s a part of the landscape of the world around us, just like the diversity elements of casting,” he said. “If you look at the original Willow, by no fault of anyone, it’s not very diverse. And as we enter 2022, the world has changed, in the way we’re absorbing entertainment, and the faces we’re reflecting in entertainment have expanded enormously, and we hope the show can be growing as the world grows. Just as, frankly, the movie was.”
In December, it was reported that Willow was viewed by just 481k households during the first five days with the first two episodes released. It marked the lowest ratings for a show on Disney Plus since its inception.