‘League of Their Own’ Cancellation Speaks Volumes About Hollywood’s Priorities

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Artists and Hollywood often don’t care about audience size or other metrics. 

Need proof? They routinely mock large groups of potential audiences, most often conservatives, while publicizing their new projects. Imagine you’re a Trump fanatic willing to give “About My Father” your time … until co-star Robert De Niro shreds the former real estate mogul for the 128th time.

Others use social media to throw sharp elbows at anyone who disagrees with their world view. That may explain why one of the most popular directors of the modern era, Rob Reiner, hasn’t had a hit since 2007’s “The Bucket List.”

Does that stop Reiner’s round-the-clock Trump attacks on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter? Of course not.

Hollywood Ignores Its Audience

And does Rachel Zegler give a second’s thought to insulting legions of Disney fans by trashing “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” the 1937 classic that’s spawned her upcoming, live-action update?

The latest example of artists ignoring the audience? 

The co-creator of Amazon Prime’s “A League of Their Own” admitted to not caring if the show alienated swathes of potential consumers. Team Amazon cared, but not one of the driving forces behind the show.

The trouble started when the mega company announced it wouldn’t air the show’s second, and final season due to the ongoing Hollywood strikes. The series already seemed in trouble given Amazon agreed to end the saga after just two seasons and shrink the episode order from eight to four.

Nailing down a second season in the first place wasn’t easy, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The news follows months of renegotiations with Sony to lower the show’s licensing fee, and the cast had to sign new deals, given the order is for half the episodes that were featured in season one, sources say.

The Hollywood Reporter

The show is based on the successful 1992 film directed by Penny Marshall. The movie showcased a female baseball league which blossomed during World War II when able-bodied men were out fighting Hitler’s armies.

The series focused on the lesbian relationships swirling around the team in question, a departure from the source material. “League” also showcased the racism of the era, a theme only hinted at in Marshall’s film.

Will Graham’s Questionable Response

Show co-creator Will Graham shared his reaction to the cancelation on X. First, Graham connected the show’s end to the view that “all queer people are personally and politically under attack across the country.”

Next, Graham shared that Team Amazon wasn’t on board with the heavy “queer” plotlines that dominated the series.

“We got so many notes wondering if the exploration of the queer world of the 1940s or Max’s world would be better saved for season 2, if people needed to start somewhere a little more familiar. I’m so glad we didn’t listen, cause now I’m sitting here without any regrets.”

Will Graham

Graham lacks both regret … and a show.

It’s also interesting that for all of Hollywood’s woke virtue signaling a major TV platform tried to dampen a show’s gay content.

The not-so-hidden message from Graham is clear. The next Hollywood platform to cancel a gay-themed show will get a similar public shaming.

Cancel at your own risk.

Hollywood remains super woke, but in the Biden economy that’s balanced by a stark reality. It’s show “business.” And business means respecting the audience and trying to attract as large a crowd as possible.

Hollywood realizes most people aren’t gay, and that making a show dominated by gay plotlines, in stark contrast to the source material, may result in a smaller audience. There’s nothing wrong with that, assuming it’s a fiscally responsible decision.

Graham suggested the show drew a sizable viewership, but either that’s not true or the series’ costs proved unwieldy. The saga is set during the 1940s, which requires period details that inflate the budget.

Otherwise, why would Amazon cancel a show that attracts serious eyeballs and brings in cold, hard cash?

Written by Christian Toto

Christian Toto is an award-winning film critic, journalist and founder of HollywoodInToto.com, the Right Take on Entertainment. He’s the author of “Virtue Bombs: How Hollywood Got Woke and Lost Its Soul” and a lifelong Yankees fan. Toto lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife, two sons and too many chickens.

Follow Christian on Twitter at https://twitter.com/HollywoodInToto

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