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Queer Representation Takes a Hit as the CW Cancels ‘Legends of Tomorrow’, ‘Batwoman’

Caity Lotz and Jes Macallan in 'Legends of Tomorrow' and Javicia Leslie and Meagan Tandy in 'Batwoman'.

The Arrowverse just lost two of its fan-favorite series. Both Legends of Tomorrow and Batwoman have been cancelled by the CW. Legends amassed a cult following over its seven seasons and 110 episodes, brining time travel shenanigans and a wicked sense of humor (Beebo!) to the often somber DC universe. Batwoman ran for three seasons, and made history as the first superhero series centered on a queer woman of color. Series showrunners Keto Shimizu and Caroline Dries shared the sad news via Twitter:

But the loss of these two shows isn’t just disappointing for Arrowverse fans. It’s a major loss of LGBTQ+ representation for network television. Legends of Tomorrow saw one the genre’s most popular queer relationships between Captain Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) and Ava Sharpe (Jes Macallan). The relationship endured over several seasons, culminating in a wedding in the season six finale. The good ship Avalance endured throughout all sorts of challenges, and in a television landscape rife with the Bury Your Gays trope, delivered a heartwarming and entertaining relationship.

Batwoman premiered in 2019, with out star Ruby Rose donning the cowl to play lesbian superhero Kate Kane/Batwoman. While Rose departed the series after the first season amid controversy, she was replaced by Javicia Leslie, who portrayed original character Ryan Wilder. The series saw multiple queer relationships and characters, most recently with Wilder and Sophie Moore (Meagan Tandy) becoming a couple. Wildmoore became the show’s signature ship. The series has struggled in the ratings, despite many fans preferring Leslie in the titular role. The loss of Batwoman hits especially hard after the cancellation of Black Lightning, which also showcased a lesbian relationship between two women of color.

The cancellation of both series dramatically decreases the representation of queer women, and queer women of color especially, on the network. And it leaves so much unresolved, as both series ended on cliffhangers. There’s a chance we may see these characters pop up in other Arrowverse shows or crossover events, but it’s a bitter pill to lose such impactful series. Ultimately, these cancellations may be due to higher up decisions at WarnerMedia and ViacomCBS, which are currently trying to sell the CW. Depending on the outcome of the potential sale, many more series could wind up on the chopping block.

Many critics and fans took to Twitter to express their disappointment:

How do you feel about the cancellation of Legends and Batwoman? Let us know in the comments.

(image: the CW)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. She currently lives in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, son, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.