In another setback for representation on TV, fan favourite ‘The Baker and the Beauty’ has been axed by ABC network, triggering fans to launch an online petition for another network to save the show.
The decision to cancel the show has also elicited a response from series star Nathalie Kelley, who called ABC “tone deaf” in its decision.
In a statement, the lead actress called the whole episode unfortunate at a time when “the public is marching in the streets demanding representation and diversity.”
Kelley was born in Peru, while co-star Victor Rasuk has roots from the Dominican Republic.
In a detailed statement on her Instagram page, Kelley also stated that the show was the “underdog” from the very beginning with its Latino cast and “nobody expected we would be picked up.”
“There wasn’t much network support or enough advertising,” she further stated, adding that she hopes the show finds another home “with a platform that understands the need for a show like this right now. Especially at a moment in time when we are becoming aware of how important representation is of our black and brown communities.”
A fan petition on Change.org by user Dana Pulsinelli is obtaining signatures from fans, with an appeal to other networks to save the popular series.
“Give us another season of the great show! The cast is amazing, the writing was great. It is definitely a warm, fun, family show and the music is great too. We certainly need to see more. ABC did this fantastic show highlighting inclusion and diversity a huge disservice with poor promotion.
“Netflix, Hulu, NBCUniversal, Amazon Prime Video, etc. Let’s give this show the shot it deserves!”
At time of filing, the petition had collected more than 135,000 signatures, with an aim to hit 150,000. The comedy-drama has also received industry support from film and movie star Kerry Washington, who shared the link to the petition on her Twitter account, adding that, “Representation matters! #SaveTheBakerAndTheBeauty.”
In the show that premiered in April, Daniel Garcia (Rasuk) is the baker from a loving Cuban family. A night out in Miami results in a chance encounter with Noa (Kelley), a supermodel who is on the rebound from a failed Hollywood relationship. As sparks fly, a culture clash is inevitable.