Several cast members on Netflix’s now-cancelled series “Glow” have shared a letter they sent to producers asking for changes to be made ahead of the fourth season, such as amplifying the voices of their characters of color and diversifying the show’s all-white writers room.
Sunita Mani, Ellen Wong, Sydelle Noel, Britney Young, Shakira Barrera and Kia Stevens wrote to producers in June after the country’s Black Lives Matter protests and discussions of racial inequality sparked their own revealing conversation about the show not living up to its own standards. They wrote on Instagram that the six female cast members of color had “a raw and personal coming-together” about “our own show’s reckoning with race” and sent their concerns to producers, who were receptive to making changes. Together, they concluded that their non-white “GLOW” characters were too often relegated to the background while the show’s white characters, and even its white guest stars, got far more significant storylines.
“‘GLOW’ has been marketed as a diverse ensemble, but for all of us diverse cast members, it has never lived up to these ideals. Since Season 1, the show has planted racial stereotyping into our characters’ existence, yet your storylines are relegated to the sidelines in dealing with this conflict or have left us feeling like checked-boxes on a list,” the letter said. “Unfortunately, we feel that the promise of this show has not been fulfilled. There is incredible support, love and camaraderie amidst the ‘GLOW’ cast, and it should go without saying that we are not here to take down our white castmates or our show, but to elevate us all in a deeper, more significant way. With zero persons of color in the writer’s room this season, it is a huge oversight to be writing our narratives without anyone else to represent us besides ourselves.”
Like many other shows, production on the Netflix series’s fourth season had been put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year. The letter stated that only one episode of Season 4 had been completed.
“Our show creators and producers HEARD US,” wrote Mani. “They were in the process of making Season 4 reflect some of the systemic problems we outlined.” However, Netflix announced in early October that “GLOW” was canceled due to production delays caused by the pandemic, reversing its prior renewal decision.
The letter asked that the show hire an executive producer of color or a consulting producer of color for its writers room to “provide accurate insight” to the characters’ storylines. The cast members requested that their roles have a larger voice and more importance in the new season.
“With each season that passes, our characters have been demoted to background players, often nonspeaking or having dialogue that does not drive the narrative. We meet at the beginning of each season for character meetings to be told storylines that never come to fruition, or are addressed and resolved in one scene,” the letter wrote.
Read the full letter below.
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**A statement on GLOW** I want to relay the above in hopes of transparency making things better for all. I made a joke about that recently and now I’m asking you to take me seriously, sorry! The above is not posted to save Glow, it’s just some personal stuff that we want to share. I loved playing Arthie Premkumar❤️