Why Netflix is being called lesbophobic for canceling Warrior Nun

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The cancelation of Warrior Nun has the internet calling Netflix out for its lack of support for WLW shows, with some even accusing the streaming platform of being lesbophobic. For those who may not be familiar with the term, let’s break down why people are calling out Netflix in such a big way and discuss whether or not this kind of label is justified.

Created by Simon Barry and streaming on Netflix, Warrior Nun is an American fantasy drama. And while the idea of a show about an order of Nun may not sound immediately tantalizing, these are no ordinary nuns.

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They’re an order of crime-fighting, demon-hunting sister warriors. A group of women that – alongside the magically gifted Warrior Nun – are tasked with ridding the earth of demons and protecting the Catholic church from its enemies. In my review, I said Warrior Nun Season 2 “solidifies the show as Netflix’s most underrated project and opens up the franchise to even greater heights if it is given a third season.”

One of the biggest talking points from the latest season is the romantic storyline between protagonist Ava Silva (Alba Baptista) and Sister Beatrice (Kristina Tonteri-Young), with fans of the show having shipped the couple since the first season. Their relationship – which I described in my review of Season 2 as a “fantastic queer romance” – won over the hearts of the LGBTQ+ community instantly.

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However, fans of the Netflix series were devastated to hear that it would not be getting renewed for a third season. A petition to bring the show back – either by Netflix or by another streaming service – has amassed over 50,000 signatures at the time of writing. Actors who worked on the show have even shared the petition.

Community backlash surrounding the Warrior Nun cancelation 

As a result of the cancelation, #SaveWarriorNun has been trending on Twitter for days and has since racked up more than 288,000 tweets since the cancellation was revealed.

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However, the cancelation of Warrior Nun brings up a bigger conversation about Netflix and its lack of support for TV shows featuring same-sex female relationships between main characters. The #cancelnetflix hashtag is also trending online, with the streaming service being labeled by many as being lesbophobic. This term refers to a particular type of homophobia focused on the romantic relationships between two female-presenting people.

And while the idea that Netflix has a prejudice against sapphic relationships and shows that place them front and center might seem absurd, a deep dive into its track record of canceling WLW (women loving women) shows despite them hitting strong viewership numbers makes for an interesting case.

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Warrior Nun and other WLW shows canceled despite solid viewership

In regards to Warrior Nun itself, the second season of the show was trending in the top 10 worldwide on the Netflix charts the minute it debuted, with the first season even climbing back up into the top 10. 

What’s more, Warrior Nun Season 2 was able to do so while competing with the likes of The Crown, a series that’s a flagship for the service and also one that receives a massive budget in regards to promotion. For comparison, Warrior Nun Season 2 was given a promotional budget of – yep, you guessed it – nothing.

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Earlier this year, the streaming platform also canceled First Kill – another WLW show – despite it also hitting strong numbers for Netflix. At the end of the first full week, it reached the number three spot and was only sitting behind Stranger Things and Peaky Blinders. The show then remained in the top 10 for the following week and by the end of its first 28-day cycle, had amassed well over 100M hours watched.

These aren’t the only sapphic shows Netflix has canned. Other WLW series that the streaming service chose to end prematurely include the likes of:

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  • Teenage Bounty Hunters
  • One Day at a Time
  • Everything Sucks
  • I Am Not Okay With This

It is important to note that Netflix isn’t the only streaming service facing criticism for canceling sapphic shows: Amazon was hit with major backlash earlier this year when they chose to axe The Wilds – a female-centric show with the main WLW ship – after two seasons.  

While WLW shows get cast aside, MLM appear to be thriving

A big part of why people are calling Netflix lesbophobic rather than homophobic is the emergence and support that shows feature a same-sex relationship between two male-presenting characters appear to be getting. 

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Heartstopper, which includes an MLM (men loving men) romance, has already been renewed for Seasons 2 and 3. Just a day after Warrior Nun was canceled, Netflix posted on its official Twitter that Young Royals – yet another MLM show – had been renewed for a third season in a post that Twitter users described as a “disappointment” and “complete bullsh*t.”

Young Royals’ renewal comes after the show hit significantly lower viewership numbers than Warrior Nun and has lower critical and audience scores on Rotten Tomatoes, with Season 2 garnering a 100% critical reception on Rotten Tomatoes and being the highest audience-reviewed Netflix show of all time. It’s currently sitting at a user score of 99% based on more than 8,000 reviews.

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Despite the cancelation, there is still hope for Warrior Nun

Warrior Nun creator Simon Barry has expressed his desire to have the show continued, recently confirming that he’s exploring other options. Barry – as well as many of the main cast members – have expressed their gratitude to the fans and Warrior Nun community for all the love and support and how they are fighting to have the show brought back.

And with the Warrior Nun fanbase dedicated to bringing the show back – alongside the support of some big-name celebrities – here’s hoping that the show can live on and that Ava and the sister warriors will be back on TV screens at some point in the future.

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Warrior Nun Seasons 1 & 2 are available to stream on Netflix now.

You can check out our other TV hubs below:

1883 Season 2 | 1923 | Severance Season 2 | The Last of Us HBO | Invincible Season 2 | The Boys Season 4 | Stranger Things Season 5 | Succession Season 4 | Ted Lasso Season 3 | You Season 4 | The Witcher Season 3 | The Witcher: Blood Origin | Rick and Morty Season 7

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