dead and hating it

Netflix pissed off the queers again—and its Twitter page has turned into a sh*tshow

Photo Credit: Brian Douglas / Netflix

Netflix, you might want to go on private.

It’s been quite a year for the streamer. Despite some unfortunate cost-cutting measures and the fact the they continue to give a platform to hateful rhetoric disguised as “comedy,” they’ve also offered up plenty of original programming centered on LGBTQ stories and characters.

To name a few: Heartstopper became one of Netflix’s most buzzed about hits, Stranger Things is finally exploring one character’s coming outUncoupled has a middle-aged gay man front and center, and First Kill put a sapphic spin on Romeo & Juliet with its Buffy-esque First Kill.

Alas, it was just this week that Netflix put a stake through the heart of First Kill fans, canceling the lesbian vampire teen romance after only one season. While showrunner Felicia D. Henderson says execs told her the seres’ “completion rate” wasn’t high enough to garner a renewal, its axing points to a larger, disconcerting trend.

“Why does Netflix keep canceling WLW shows?,” our colleagues at INTO asked, astutely observing that, more often than not, series centered on WLW come to an untimely end. Despite garnering positive reviews and an impressive fanbase, Netflix determined there wasn’t enough of an appetite for First Kill to live beyond its initial eight episodes.

But First Kill is just the latest of many to be gone too soon. As INTO references, there’s I Am Not Okay With This, Everything Sucks!, One Day At A Time, Sense8—we could go on. And as these series get buried, fans are beginning to note that this seems to be happening disproportionately to WLW-centric film and television.

Related: Start Halloween season early with an overlooked gay romance in a terrifying classic

If First Kill’s demise was due to some algorithm that determined it wasn’t cost-effective programming, then how are other, less successful series able to stick around? And why, in some fans’ views, is Netflix more eager to greenlight content about cis, gay men, more willing to give it a fighting chance?

Well, that’s where things start to get a little bit stickier. What we can definitively say is that First Kill fans are mad as h*ll about this cancellation—and they’re not going to take it anymore!

Look no further than the replies of, well, just about anything tweeted by the @Netflix account these past few days. For example, we were thrilled about a first look at the talented Colman Domingo in the upcoming biopic about gay activist Bayard Rustin. But drowning out any excitement for the film are countless responses urging Netflix to bring First Kill back.

Now, it’s more than a little misguided to attack a biopic about a Black, gay man—it’s the kind of starry, important feature about an under-celebrated POC hero that still feels like a rarity in 2022. But First Kill fans are making it known that they’re very angry about the cancellation, false equivalency be d*mned.

Most common among the replies are claims of “lesbophobia,” as well as the hashtags #SaveFirstKill and #CancelNetflix.

Of course, Rustin is far from the only title to receive fans’ ire. Virtually any Netflix tweet you click on, you’ll find many multiple angry replies—even if they have nothing to do with queer stories, vampires, or anything related to First Kill at all.

After sharing a clip from military romance Purple Hearts, the account received messages like this one:

Here’s a follow-up to a tweet about Lost Ollie, a sweet-looking  family adventure about toys trying to return home:

And don’t even get us started on @Most, the dedicated social hub for Netflix LGBTQ-focused content. Earlier this week, they shared photos of the cast of the aforementioned Uncoupled, causing many First Kill fans to ask: “Where was the promo for First Kill?”

There really doesn’t appear to be any end in sight. Netflix tends to stick to their guns—no matter how many wrong-headed decisions they make—so it’s highly unlikely that the streamer will go back on its decision and revive First Kill for a second season. And, even if they did, haven’t fans already “canceled” their Netflix subscription any way?

At the very least, the message is loud and clear: Netflix has p*ssed off the wrong people. And the only solution now? get some more shows about WLW into production, stat!