First Kill showrunner says marketing reduced Netflix show to lesbian love story as fans criticise cancellation

·2 min read

First Kill’s showrunner has claimed that Netflix reduced the teen vampire drama to a lesbian love story in its marketing before it was cancelled.

On Tuesday (2 August), it was announced that Netflix’s LGBTQ+ teen vampire drama had been cancelled after just one series.

The news shocked fans, who questioned why First Kill wasn’t coming back despite being watched for more than 100 million hours in its first weeks, and gaining a strong fanbase.

Discussing the show’s cancellation in a new interview, showrunner Felicia D Henderson said that she was “very disappointed” by the news the show had been cancelled.

“I so enthusiastically signed on to this show [because] it has something for everyone – strong women leads, supernatural intrigue, an epic, Shakespearean battle between warring families, and a prominently featured Black family in the genre space, something Black viewers crave and a general audience needs to be treated to,” she told The Daily Beast.

Henderson also claimed that Netflix hadn’t marketed all these aspects of the show and had simply sold it as a lesbian love story.

A source close to the production previously told The Daily Beast that other plotlines were “downplayed” in the advertising “in favour of photos of the two main characters making out”.

Henderson said that while the art for the initial marketing had been “beautiful”, the show’s full depths were not explored in the advertising.

Sarah Catherine Hook and Imani Lewis in ‘First Kill' (Netflix)
Sarah Catherine Hook and Imani Lewis in ‘First Kill' (Netflix)

“I think I expected that to be the beginning and that the other equally compelling and important elements of the show – monsters vs monster hunters, the battle between two powerful matriarchs, etc – would eventually be promoted, and that didn’t happen,” she said.

The Independent has contacted Netflix for comment.

First Kill starred Imani Lewis, Sarah Catherine Hook and Lost star Elizabeth Mitchell and followed the love story between vampire Juliette and vampire hunter Calliope.

According to reports, the decision to cancel the series generated from “a matter of viewing numbers versus cost”.