Netflix cancelled the diverse show that represented you.

Debt Financing Doesn’t Last Forever

CT Liotta
2 min readJan 3, 2024

In 2023, streaming services canceled several shows celebrated for their diversity, such as the reboot of “The Wonder Years” featuring a black family, the LGBT-centric “A League of Their Own,” and “Shadow and Bone,” known for its queer characters. This trend follows the 2022 cancellation of “Gentefied,” a show with a strong Latino focus. These decisions highlight a complex scenario where audience preferences, cultural representation, and financial strategies intersect — or don’t.

Photo by Thibault Penin on Unsplash

The core issue lies in the disconnect between the industry’s push for diverse representation and the actual tastes of mainstream audiences. Historically, most viewers have shown a preference for narratives that mirror their own experiences. This preference often puts shows with unique or specific cultural themes at a disadvantage.

Netflix’s initial approach to content creation relied heavily on debt financing. This method allowed the streaming giant to produce a broad range of programming aimed at attracting a diverse subscriber base. It catered to various interests and demographics, including those traditionally underrepresented on television.

The entrance of more competitors in the streaming market forced Netflix to shift its strategy. The company now depends more on viewership data and numbers to determine which shows continue. This shift represents a need to balance unique content with the reality of making profit in a competitive industry.

So, “There are riches in the niches” fast gave way to “Will it play in Peoria?” to the chagrin of people who look to the media to teach society lessons about others.

The cancellation of diverse shows reflects the ongoing struggle in television between showcasing diversity and adhering to market demands.

I’m sure the TV industry would like to create content that not only represents different human experiences, but also appeals to a broad audience. To do so calls for innovative business ideas and a cultural shift towards a more inclusive and empathetic approach to media consumption.

Changing a deeply divided culture to embrace inclusivity and empathy remains a chimera, likely leaving the industry with little option but produce shows for the masses

In conclusion, the discontinuation of many diverse TV shows in 2023 marks a pivotal moment in the entertainment industry and American culture. It underscores the challenge of balancing progressive representation goals with market realities and entrenched audience preferences. The industry now faces the task of navigating this complex landscape, seeking to harmonize the imperative for diversity and inclusivity with the practicalities of consumer behavior and market viability.



CT Liotta

World traveler & foreign affairs enthusiast. GenX. Lawful neutral. I write gags and titles . Smoke if you got ’em.