One of the writers and producers of Disney’s fantasy adventure series Willow has shed light on why he sees the positive side of the show being removed from Disney+. Although Willow garnered praise from both critics and audiences, the series was canceled after just one season. Recent reports confirmed that it would join the list of over 50 titles to be removed from streaming services Disney+ and Hulu.
The series, which served as a sequel to the beloved 1988 cult film of the same name and featured Warwick Davis in the lead role, received acclaim for its inclusion of a sapphic relationship between the main characters Kit (Ruby Cruz) and Jade (Erin Kellyman). A notable scene depicting their kiss was seen as a step forward in mending Disney’s uneven history with LGBTQ+ representation.
Upon learning about the show’s cancellation and subsequent removal from Disney+, passionate Willow fans within the queer community expressed their dismay. The decision to take down the first season just months after its initial release further fueled their frustration.
Amidst the disappointment, Jonathan Kasdan, co-writer and co-producer of the series, has sought to inject a glimmer of hope into the devastated fandom. Taking to Twitter, he shared his perspective, stating, “I’ve been quiet on this news that #Willow is leaving Disney+ ’cause… I’m kinda into it. I grew up at a time when Disney movies were periodically re-released and not available to own, and it made them… more special.”
Kasdan continued by expressing gratitude for the outpouring of love and enthusiasm from fans, asserting that such support keeps the worlds of Willow alive. He also hinted at the possibility of the series finding a new home elsewhere, reminding everyone that unpredictability often leads to unexpected outcomes.
However, not all contributors to the show share Kasdan’s optimistic outlook. Writer John Bickerstaff criticized the decision to remove the series from streaming platforms, highlighting the limited time span given to the show’s availability. Bickerstaff’s viral tweet expressed his belief that eternal streaming libraries are not sustainable and that the industry will eventually need to adapt. Nonetheless, he condemned the premature disappearance of a show shortly after substantial investments had been made, deeming it poor business practice.
Since the announcement of Willow’s cancellation, devoted fans have been actively campaigning for alternative solutions to ensure the show’s survival. Social media platforms have witnessed the rise of hashtags like #KeepWillow and #SaveWillow, reflecting the determination and passion of the fan base.
Fans have lauded Willow for its unique charm and eccentricity, distinguishing it from other fantasy productions. The series strikes a balance by not taking itself too seriously while treating its audience with respect. Supporters firmly believe that Willow is a show that deserves to endure.
In recent months, Willow has joined a growing list of LGBTQ+ shows facing cancellation, including hits like Warrior Nun, Uncoupled, and A League of Their Own. Additionally, other shows, such as Big Shot, Dollface, and The Mysterious Benedict Society, are also on the chopping block for removal from Disney+ and Hulu.
As the future of Willow hangs in the balance, fans rally together, determined to preserve a show that has empowered audiences through its inclusive storytelling and complex characters.