A League Of Their Own co-creator Will Graham is sharing his thoughts publicly for the first time since it was revealed Friday that the series’ Season 2 renewal had been reversed and the show was ending.
Graham made clear his disappointment, but vowed to continue to try to find a new home for the beloved series, along with a plea and a huge thank you to LGBTQIA+ fans of the show to “please take care of yourselves,” adding “You are not alone.”
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“When all queer people are personally and politically under attack across the country and HRC 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 politicization of our identities. 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.”
He continued, “We got so many notes wondering if the exploration of the queer world of the 1940s or Max’s world would be better saved for season 2, if people needed to start somewhere a little more familiar. I’m so glad we didn’t listen, cause now I’m sitting here without any regrets.”
As Deadline reported, Prime Video opted not to move forward with the previously ordered second — and final — season of comedy-drama A League Of Their Own, co-created and executive produced by Abbi Jacobson and Graham.
The series was a reimagining of the 1992 film, A League of Their Own, which was about the women who formed their own professional baseball league during World War II.
Production delays and additional expenses brought by the ongoing Hollywood strikes were main factors in Prime Video’s decision not to proceed with a second season, Deadline reported Friday.
Jacobson earlier reacted to that rationale with anger: “To blame this cancellation on the strike is bulls–t and cowardly,” Jacobson wrote over the weekend in an Instagram post. “But this post isn’t about all that. About all the ways this show has been put through the ringer. Not today.”
You can read Graham’s entire statement below.
A very long thread: To the League fans, We found out this news along with you on Friday. I see the pain and anger and worry out there, which for the LGBTQIA+ fans of the show is of course compounded by what’s happening across the country right now.
So the first and most important thing to say is: Before anything, before you fight for the show or each other, please take care of yourselves. Reach out to your community and ask for help if you need it. You aren’t alone. Please be kind to yourselves.
As I’ve been thinking about what’s happened, I come back to a quote from Penny Marshall’s film: “The hard is what makes it great.” Making this show is so hard and so great. There’s quite a bit to say about what’s been hard, but at this point that’s in the past.
Of course, if we have an avenue to do it well, we will continue the show, and I love seeing the noise you’re making in support of that. The noise matters!
And it’s hard for me to imagine there wouldn’t be a home for a show that thanks to you 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, that was recognized by critics as something special, that’s been recognized…
…with awards from GLAAD, HRC and a million other organizations, that was on a million year-end top ten lists, and that has a built in and deeply passionate audience.
Amazon is pursuing different kinds of programming, but to the rest of the world this show is a hit and has huge value and even greater potential. But first things first, we have to win this strike and get a fair deal before we can explore what comes next.
But for a moment, I want to talk about what happens if the world didn’t quite change quickly enough for you to have all the seasons of this show that we want to give you.
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.
And that’s because of all of you, and the light you continue to shine on the show — How you let it matter to you, how you let it become a mirror, how you let it change you.
I’ve never experienced a response to a show that’s as deep, personal, creative and meaningful as what the fans have done with League. When we were making the season 1, we all wondered and worried about whether people would accept it on its own terms next to the film.
They have, and you did that, and so much more. You lit up the internet on your first watch throughs of the show, when you realized where it was going (and made all of us laugh in the process).
You wrote enough fan fiction for 100 novels and created an outpouring of art and creativity that could fill its own museum — I’ve truly never seen anything like it.
You lifted up a 95 year old who had just come out of the closet and made her into a celebrity who gets recognized wherever she goes. Every time any member of the cast appears at anything, you turn it into a convention.
You stop Abbi wherever she goes, and though I’m a happily inconspicuous person, and you constantly find me and stop me and give me gifts that now have a shelf in my house.
When thousands of you appeared to see D’Arcy at the stage door of The Thanksgiving Play over its run, you turned it into the hottest queer bar in New York. You made Max’s suit and Chante’s beautiful performance into a movement.
A mob of you went to Pittsburgh and saw all of our locations. You dressed as the characters and made our characters into one of the biggest halloween costumes of last year.
You came out, you changed pronouns, you started living more openly, you gave sermons in church about the show, you opened bars, and you got a truly mind boggling number of tattoos that say “to the five” and “rob the bank.” What else am I forgetting? I’m sure you’ll remind me.
But most importantly, you made a community, you found each other and found joy, which of course is what the show is about. In many more ways than I would ever have let myself imagine while we were making it, you literally bring the show to life every day.
Thank you for making our work mean something bigger. We’ve heard from so many different kinds of people around the world who are watching League.
But, in a time when all queer people are personally and politically under attack across the country and HRC 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 politicization of our identities. 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.
In case anyone needs to hear it: You are not small, niche, modest, off-putting or marginal, and neither are your stories. You are multitudes, you are building, and your stories are universal. You are the most rapidly growing audience and consumer group in this country.
You are powerful. You are the future, and the people who don’t recognize your importance now will feel be clamoring to catch up in a few years. As Chante said so beautifully when we received the Human Right Campaign Visionary award, you are the main characters. Be proud.
Be angry if you that’s how you feel, but know that we are going to win, and don’t ever let this moment or any other make you small. The biggest lesson of the characters in this show is that, in a world that had no space for them at all, they LIVED. (Continued)
They found love, they did the things they loved, they won. You’re doing the same thing, and just like them, you are heroes. We are still fighting for League. But whether we win or lose this one, I’m so proud.
From the time when we began working on the season, Abbi, Deta and I said to each other — Let’s not hold anything back, for as long as we get to be here, let’s do this the right way.
We got so many notes wondering if the exploration of the queer world of the 1940s or Max’s world would be better saved for season 2, if people needed to start somewhere a little more familiar. I’m so glad we didn’t listen, cause now I’m sitting here without any regrets.
And no matter what happens, the people behind League aren’t going anywhere. Give us a minute, we will be back with more for you to watch and read and feel. We’re going to win.
And you’re not going anywhere either, because what you’ve built and what you are is bigger than this show. It’s the story of our community, that comes to us through the hidden history that League shows just one small part of: The bars got raided and shut down.
But the people didn’t go anywhere, and they opened a new bar, and out of those spaces came music, cinema, dance, culture — What we now see as mainstream was birthed from the spaces our predecessors were forced to hide in. They made joy there.
That’s what you are: In coming together, you are the start of something new, the seeds of a joy we desperately need, the beat of the music that people will dance to in a better future. “The hard is what makes it great.”
Right now especially, I wish I could make it less hard for all of us, on so many levels. o the amazing community that made this show and the equally amazing one that lifts it up in the world every day, I’ll just say this: You’ve taken the hard and made it something great.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you. You remind me every day why the fight is worth the fighting. To the five. #ALeagueOfTheirOwn
A very long thread: To the League fans, We found out this news along with you on Friday. I see the pain and anger and worry out there, which for the LGBTQIA+ fans of the show is of course compounded by what’s happening across the country right now. #ALeagueOfTheirOwn
— Will Graham (@WillWGraham) August 23, 2023
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