GLOW: Actors of Color Felt "Disempowered" in Roles Before Netflix Canceled Series

Actresses of color from Netflix’s GLOW say that they felt disempowered before the platform decided to end the series. Sunita Mani posted a letter that she and her co-stars signed and delivered to the show’s creators earlier this year. Along with Sydelle Noel, Shakira Barrera, Britney Young, Ellen Wong, and Kia Stevens, they made a plea to the studio. A lot of the fanbase was surprised to see such a gesture from so many of the people behind their favorite characters. GLOW grapples with stereotyping a ton, and it is only fair to wonder how that approach squares with the living experiences of the people playing these performers on-screen.

“As the principal women of color on a show tackling racist and offensive stereotypes, we have felt disempowered throughout our time on GLOW,” the letter said. “It has been problematic to use our faces, oftentimes solely in the context of a racist storyline, and to be brief with our story development to serve the in-depth white storylines.”

Debbie Eagen actress Betty Gilpin tried to grapple with the tough situation surrounding the cancellation. In a post on social media, she tried to celebrate what the show had build, while still being upset things ended before their natural conclusion.

"Our business is a strange mix of attempting childhood dreams to a room full of asleep people and shirking dignity for awake tomato-throwers for rent. This was one of those extremely rare times where we got to do the dream for awake people. And it didn’t disappear in an audition room or unsent email. We did it on a show, recorded it all, I swear. Thirty episodes," Gilpin wrote.

"Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch, I will be forever grateful to you. You changed my life. It’s sad and weird to end this way. But we did get to do it 30 times. I mean, I cried a lot on that subway. I never thought I’d get to do it once," she added.

"If you, like me, are feeling insane at waking up every morning to check your phone to see if the emperor having no clothes counts as being immune-compromised, and you need a break, I have a recommendation. It’s not world-changing—we need to do that most right now, and focus our efforts there. But if in between fighting you need an escape, I suggest watching GLOW."

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"All the clown women around me wearing no pants who made me laugh so hard every day. And in that sea of wild women, Marc Maron and Chris Lowell, two perfect boys I’ll love forever," Gilpin wrote. "In a world with so much wickedness, I am so very grateful I got to spend three years in Oz. And in a real backhanded All About Eve move, in this metaphor I’m going to cast myself as Dorothy and Alison Brie as the Scarecrow. Because of course, I’m going to miss you most of all."

Are you sad that GLOW ended? Let us know down in the comments!