5 Netflix Shows With Black-Led Casts That Were Canceled Too Soon

·5 min read

Netflix has brought us some fantastic content for our viewing pleasure over the years. From crime dramas and sci-fi mysteries to docuseries and animated shorts, the streaming giant never appears to miss the mark. Even during the onslaught of layoffs and stock plunges, Netflix still seems to release something new every couple of days. In fact, Netflix’s 2022 Summer movie release dates just dropped and the lineup doesn’t disappoint. But with every new and exciting Netflix drop also comes cancellations.

If Netflix deems it so, the shows we fall in love with can be canceled at any time. Even a very popular series, like Ozark or The OA, is not guaranteed to be renewed for another season. Shows get canceled all the time—it’s just the nature of the entertainment industry—but for Black and brown show creators and performers having their series get terminated can be a huge setback. There aren’t many opportunities for POC creatives to reach the level of exposure granted so often to their white counterparts. As we all know, representation matters and it’s important that we can see our communities and stories represented on the big screen. So when one of our shows gets the ax, it stings just that much more.

Here are 5 Netflix cancellations featuring a predominantly Black and brown cast that we miss the most.

‘Raising Dion’

Canceled April 2022

The family-friendly superhero series, Raising Dion, received the ax in 2022 after two seasons. On April 26 Cast member Sammi Haney announced on Instagram that the show had been canceled by the streaming giant. The show centered around a single mom and her superpower-wielding son, Dion, as she tries to protect him from the outside world.

Oozing with Black boy joy, the title character Dion Warren (played by Ja’Siah Young), was a charismatic (and adorable) character that you couldn’t help but fall in love with. In addition to Dion, the story was about his mother, Nicole (played by Alisha Wainwright). Wainwright gave a heartfelt performance portraying a strong Black mother raising her son on her own. It’s sad to see this show go as it was a fun, fresh twist on the superhero genre and was entertaining for both kids and adults alike.

'Astronomy Club: The Sketch Show'

Canceled June 2020

After just one season the sketch comedy series, Astronomy Club: The Sketch Show, was canceled by Netflix. The cancellation was announced on Twitter by the cast. “Thank you to all the fans who watched,” the tweet read. “Hoping that more black artists & comedians are given the platform to have voices in the future.”

The show, created by improv sketch comedy group Astronomy Club, featured an all-Black team of comedians. Their witty and satirical sketches explored a variety of topics ranging from race relations, and pop culture, to everyday life. The show consisted of a talented and diverse cast of up-and-coming Black comedians such as Shawtane Bowen, Keisha Zollar, Jonathan Braylock, Caroline Martin, and others. Hopefully, we’ll see these comedians flourish in future pursuits and we can continue to enjoy their unique and hilarious content.

‘The Get Down’

Canceled May 2017

The hip-hop musical drama, The Get Down, was canceled by Netflix after one season. The series followed a group of teenagers as they attempt to make their dreams come true in the music industry. Set in the Bronx in the 1970s, the series paid homage to the rise of hip-hop in New York during that time.

While the historical depictions of famed rappers like Grandmaster Flash and Nas might have been overly fantastical at times, the series was an immersive musical force that featured an array of young talent. A love letter to the Bronx, The Get Down chronicled the energy of NYC in the 70s with a uniquely nostalgic allure that appealed to audiences young and old. An enthralling storyline, stellar music, and lovable characters are what made this show great.

‘Seven Seconds’

Canceled April 2018

Joining our list of disappointing Netflix cancellations is the jarring crime drama series, Seven Seconds, which starred Regina King, Michael Mosley, Clare-Hope Ashitey, and David Lyons. The show was canceled after one season. Seven Seconds told the story of a mother fighting to get justice for her son killed by a white police officer.

The series was thought-provoking, engrossing, and infuriating all at the same time. The themes of racial injustice, corruption, and police brutality were very indicative of the social and political climate we live in. At times hard to stomach, the show gave viewers an honest and heartbreaking look at what it’s like for a Black parent to lose their child at the hands of police and the fight for justice that ensues afterward. The storytelling and acting were phenomenal—King’s scenes are authentic tear-jerkers. While the first (and only) season arguably made sense as a stand-alone story, it still left viewers wanting more.

'She's Gotta Have It'

Canceled July 2019

She’s Gotta Have It was a Netflix series based on Spike Lee’s 1986 film of the same name. The series was canceled after two seasons. She’s Gotta Have It centered on the life of Nola Darling, an aspiring artist living in Brooklyn. In addition to her career, Darling struggles to balance her relationships with friends, family, and her three male suitors.

An authentic and artistic depiction of what it’s like to be a Black female millennial, She’s Gotta Have It served us culture, Black love, and female sexuality all under the thrilling backdrop of New York City. The series featured a talented cast of young Black and POC actors, such as DeWanda Wise, Anthony Ramos, Lyriq Bent, and Cleo Anthony. It’s hard to find a series willing to dive headfirst into the themes of sexism, racism, and homophobia quite as this one did. The show was sexy, funny, and a celebration of Black and brown bodies—plus it had a killer soundtrack. Nola Darling’s empowering and unapologetic approach to the world is sorely missed.