Netflix’s “One Day at a Time” gets cancelled
Fans in the LGBTQ community are in an uproar over the recent cancellation of the Netflix show “One Day at a Time,” which had an LGBTQ-inclusive storyline featuring the teenage daughter Elena coming out as a lesbian.
The comedy-drama show on Netflix, which is now on its third season, was a reboot of the 1975 Norman Lear sitcom and focused on the daily struggles of a Cuban-American family.
One Day at a Time and Representation
The show stars Justina Machado as the divorced, former veteran, and mother of the family (Penelope); the venerable Rita Morena as the matriarch (Lydia); Isabella Gomez as the daughter (Elena); and Marcel Ruiz as the son (Alex).
The show has garnered a lot of intersectional fan support, from the Latinx community (because of the focus on a Cuban-American family) to the LGBTQ community (because of Elena’s story).
While Elena’s coming-out storyline is nothing new, a lot of reviewers cited it as one of the best ones made.
Elena is not the only LGBTQ representative on the show. Her partner, Syd (played by Sheridan Pierce), is non-binary and is consistently referred to as “they” by everyone in the show.
Meanwhile, Penelope’s friend from her Veterans support group, Ramona (played by Judy Reyes), is a lesbian.
The show– called ODAAT– also has episodes dealing with topics like homophobia within the immigrant community, safe sex for LGBTQ people, internalized homophobia, and respecting pronouns.
One Day at a Time: One last day
However, Netflix cancelled the show supposedly because of low ratings despite the fervent and loud fan outcry against it, complete with a hashtag #SaveODAAT.
Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement: “This was a very difficult decision and we’re thankful to all the fans who’ve supported the series, our partners at Sony, and all the critics who embraced it.”
“While it’s disappointing that more viewers didn’t discover One Day at a Time, I believe the series will stand the test of time,” Sarando said.
The streaming company also said in a tweet: “The choice did not come easily — we spent several weeks trying to find a way to make another season work but in the end simply not enough people watched to justify another season.”
Machado aired her sadness about the cancellation on social media: “Truly, I am so honored that we got to tell our stories .Yes it was a Latinx family but it was a universal story about family and love. An American Familia.”
“One Day at a Time” follows in the footsteps of other cancelled Netflix shows that had LGBTQ representation: “Sense8,” “Everything Sucks!,” “The Get Down,” “Shadowhunters,” “Gypsy,” “Jessica Jones,” “Super Drags,” and “Degrassi: Next Class.”
One Day at a Time: Why support matters
Tracy Gilchrist, The Advocate’s feminism editor, lamented the show’s cancellation and said, “The show represented intersections of identity like few others on the television landscape, but if a series that intersects three marginalized communities can’t make it, who was watching?”
Gilchrist noted that the show’s cancellation is “a blow to intersectional programming, especially since Netflix had more than 50 million U.S. subcribers as of 2018.”
“Considering that women make up half of the population, LGBTQ people about 4.5 percent, and Latinx people about 18.1 percent, it just doesn’t add up that the series lost out to low ratings. Unless, after cries for inclusion, we weren’t really tuning in, despite the show’s acclaim,” she added.
She admitted that there are other Latinx shows available on Netflix like “Gente-fied” and “Selena: The Series.” For the LGBTQ community, there’s “13 Reasons Why” and “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.”
However, Gilchrist said that of the people of color and queer characters in the latter shows, they’re secondary to the heterosexual white lead character.
Netflix, she said, “is far from moving intersectional representation forward. ODAAT’s cancelation leaves Dear White People to really carry the mantle on Netflix to tell stories about intersections of marginalization.”