The CW’s Diverse Shows Are Not Disposable

May 2, 2022

For the first time ever, The CW has broken precedent.

On Thursday, April 28th, 2022, it was revealed that Batwoman was canceled by The CW. Shortly after that, it was revealed that Legends of Tomorrow was also canceled by The CW.

Two shows were canceled with no word from The CW; only the words of broken-hearted cast, crew, and fans; myself included.

Batwoman and Legends Of Tomorrow were canceled unjustifiably and far too soon.

Just in time for the DC Pride comic, which releases this June, just after the CW Batwoman comic released, and just before the CW Legends Of Tomorrow comic releases this Wednesday.

DC Pride? More like DC Pride In Cancelling Pride.

Disposable Representation to The CW

Before these cancellations occurred, no Arrowverse show had been canceled. Every Arrowverse show before had a final season to wrap things up. Now, The CW has broken that precedent.

Both Batwoman and Legends Of Tomorrow were The CW’s diverse shows. 

Batwoman was led by a black, lesbian character, with almost all the other leads being Black or Asian.

Batwoman Season 2 Cast by Artlover67 on DeviantArt

Legends Of Tomorrow had a large ensemble cast filled with diversity: a bisexual female superhero lead, a gay male lead, a lesbian superhero lead, two Muslim superhero leads, a Black female superhero lead, and an asexual Hispanic female superhero lead. And that’s JUST in season 7 alone.

Legends Of Tomorrow Season 7 Loses Longtime Cast Member

Furthermore, Batwoman and Legends Of Tomorrow normalized their diversity. These characters of different ethnicities, genders, races, sexualities, and so much more weren’t thrown in just to meet a quota, or as “token” characters of a group. They were brought in naturally and effortlessly, just like diversity is in real-life. 

As a bisexual woman myself, I can’t tell you just how much the character Sara Lance specifically means to me, particularly in terms of bisexual representation. Rarely did you ever hear her, or anyone else, say she was bisexual. Once it was said, it was accepted, and she and other characters simply continued on with their stories and adventures without any other worry.

The Only Arrowverse Shows Left

Other superhero shows that have been renewed by The CW, such as The Flash and Superman & Lois, pale in comparison in terms of representation. 

Currently, The Flash has two Black leads on their show, with one leaving this season (Joe West) and one on the bubble for next season after actress Candice Patton revealed she would be absent for 4 episodes in next season’s The Flash (Iris West-Allen).

Superman & Lois has Kyle Cushing, Fire Chief of the Smallville Fire Department, who is Mexican, and John Henry Irons, Steel, who is Black.

Now that The CW has canceled Batwoman and Legends Of Tomorrow, we’ve lost Black representation, Asian representation, bisexual representation, gay representation, lesbian representation, Hispanic representation, asexual representation, Muslim representation, and so much more.

How can The CW see shows with such representation as disposable? How can they see people like me, people like us, as disposable?

It Wasn’t The Ratings

While Legends of Tomorrow and Batwoman were not in the top 5 of The CW’s ratings, they both were in the top 10. 

Furthermore, Legends Of Tomorrow, as per April 2022 ratings, was the ONLY CW show to be in the green this season on all counts; to GAIN viewers rather than lose them. In season 7, it was up 27% in viewership. 

Usually, shows go down in quality and lose viewers as they age over time. However, Legends of Tomorrow came back not only in terms of quality storytelling, characters, and enjoyment but in its ratings. The numbers show that viewers were behind Legends Of Tomorrow. It was reaching more than just its current audience; it was gaining a new, wonderful audience that The CW could benefit from.

Instead, The CW canceled it along with Batwoman.

So, I ask again: how can The CW see shows with such great representation and growing ratings as disposable?

Quality Storytelling and Characters

Batwoman and Legends Of Tomorrow not only gave us representation, but quality storytelling and characters with it.

After Season 1 of Batwoman and the controversy behind it, actress Javicia Leslie came in with a vengeance and took the show back, along with her fellow cast and crew. Her Batwoman, her great supporting cast, and the writing that season led Batwoman to get renewed for a third season, overcoming its near-crippling downfall at the end of season 1.

Javicia Leslie Shines as 'Batwoman' | The Mary Sue

Legends Of Tomorrow is notorious for finding its footing in season 3, with the season finale featuring Beebo, a blue stuffed toy that grows giant at one point. With the addition of new characters, a fresh storyline, and a new attitude, ratings went up, and fan favorites like Ava and Zari stuck longer than ever. 

Legends of Tomorrow Season 5 Teaser Trailer: Beebo Is Back - TV Guide

Legends Of Tomorrow’s magic was that it decided to be its own show and not like any other superhero show. It embraced the chaos, the goofiness, the ridiculousness, and made it its own. It had fans like myself going “I have no idea what’s happening, but I KNOW I want more of it!”

But, don’t take my word for it. Take the word of other fans’ as well:

Throwing Away Legacy

Batwoman featured the appearance of Ryan Wilder, a new Batwoman created for The CW. The first and only Black, lesbian Batwoman to grace TV, film, or comics. This past season 3 also featured the first Asian interpretation of Poison Ivy. It is now the shortest running Arrowverse series ever at 3 seasons.

Ryan Wilder Dons the Suit in Batwoman Season 2 Premiere Photos

Legends of Tomorrow was led by Sara Lance, who has been in the Arrowverse for 9 years. Originally created as an original character on Arrow Season 2, Arrow gifted her to us as the first version of Black Canary in the Arrowverse, going by the name The Canary. After Sara was killed on Arrow, fan response was so huge that producers brought her back for the show Legends of Tomorrow. On this show, she adopted a new name: The White Canary. She was the only remaining Legends member left from season 1.

DCTV Pride Profile: White Canary | DC

Sara Lance was more than one of the most identifiable and normalized bisexual characters on television. She was also a character who went from being a broken assassin to Captain of The Waverider. Growth spanning 9 years, she was one of the founding bedrocks of the Arrowverse, outlasting Oliver Queen himself.

Which Arrowverse Characters Would Swear, If They Could? | TVLine

Oliver Queen got a proper goodbye after 8 years. Black Lightning got one after 4 years. Kara Zor-El got one after 6 years.

But with this cancellation, the character Sara Lance, after 9 years, 2 TV shows, multiple crossover appearances, and growth beyond measure will not get a proper goodbye. Sara Lance won’t get a proper goodbye.

How can The CW see shows with such great representation, growing ratings, great storytelling and characters, and undeniable and immeasurable legacies as disposable?

Letting Loose Ends Burn

Batwoman and Legends Of Tomorrow both ended with room for more stories and loose ends respectively. While Batwoman tied up many ends but left room for more, Legends Of Tomorrow ended with more loose ends! Season 7 ends with the longest-running Arrowverse character, Sara Lance, becoming pregnant with her wife, Ava’s, child. And yes, it’s biologically both of theirs! 

Additionally, season 7’s finale introduced us to Booster Gold, a popular DC Comics character. As we jumped for joy for the first live-action Booster Gold, The Legends were arrested and going to prison!

Legends of Tomorrow Confirms Donald Faison As Booster Gold

How do you cancel a show after introducing a famous and popular DC Comics Character? Especially when he’s played by Donald Faison of Scrubs fame?

Why would you cancel a show after becoming the first TV network to have a sapphic couple that has a child that is biologically both of theirs?

How do you not let the longest-running character in the Arrowverse wrap up her story? 

How can The CW see shows with such great representation, growing ratings, plenty more room to grow, undeniable and immeasurable legacies, and loose ends to tie up, as disposable?

Not Just Two Broken-Hearted Fandoms

The CW has not only made a decision that’s broken the hearts of fans, cast, and crew of Batwoman….

Legends Of Tomorrow…

but also broken the hearts of others.

Even fans of other CW shows, such as The 100, and comic fans are distraught.

Let’s take action!

With the Hashtags #SaveBatwoman and #SaveLegendsOfTomorrow on Twitter, we are hoping to save both of these shows for one more season.

A petition on Change.Org has over 740 signatures and counting to #SaveBatwoman:

A petition on Change.Org has Over 6,500 signatures and counting to SAVE LEGENDS OF TOMORROW:

The Chance To Do Better

We are hoping HBO Max specifically will give Batwoman and Legends Of Tomorrow final seasons and HBO Max is noticing:

As Sara Lance once said on Legends Of Tomorrow: when did a Legend ever go quietly?

We, the fans of Batwoman and Legends Of Tomorrow, aren’t going anywhere.

Who wants shows with great representation, growing ratings, plenty more room to grow, and undeniable and immeasurable legacies?

With The CW’s greatest loss yet comes the perfect gain for HBO Max, I think.