As The Baker and the Beauty Save the Show campaign continues to gain momentum, ABC’s decision to cancel the romantic comedy-drama also has mobilized the Hollywood Latinx community who are voicing their support for efforts to find a new home for the show.
In an open letter alongside a link to a petition in support of the show finding a new home, The Baker and the Beauty star Nathalie Kelley spoke of the cancelation of the rare series with a Latinx cast, its legacy of representation and its timeliness as the type of show that is “necessary during these times”
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In an earlier version of the letter that was subsequently retracted but has been published online, Kelley called the cancellation “an extremely tone deaf decision” “at a time when the public is marching in the streets demanding representation and diversity.”
Now more than ever, the world is waking up to the importance of diversity and representation on our televisions. We want networks to commit wholeheartedly to ensuring that BIPOC, LATINX and LGBTQ+ people, and other marginalized groups, get a chance to tell our stories. Baker and The Beauty was a show that embodied the themes of unity, empathy, and compassion, all of which are so needed in our national discourse right now.
For years, Latinx stories were limited to drug cartels, maids and the ‘spicy latina’ sex object. I credit ABC for letting us tell the story of a loving, wholesome and hilarious Cuban-American family on network TV. I praise them for allowing the youngest daughter Natalie’s LGBTQ storyline be central to our show. I am also forever grateful to them for casting me, an Indigenous woman, as the lead female role. Noa Hamilton was not written for a woman of color, but they cast me anyway. And I could not be prouder of what we all did and the show we created.
These stories create empathy, and there is nothing that we need more in these times than unity, empathy and compassion. That is why it was especially sad to not see them follow through on their support for our beloved series. Nevertheless I remain hopeful that there is a platform out there that will jump on the opportunity to give this show a new home. A chance to send a meaningful message to our communities that they hear our passion, our voices coming from our streets, demanding visibility and justice. The Baker and the Beauty is a beautiful show, one that means so much to so many people. It’s full of love, laughter, inspiration, and comfort. And I cannot think of anything more necessary during these times.
Kelley’s co-star Lisa Vidal also has been vocal on social media about the void in Latnx representation that the cancellation of The Baker and the Beauty leaves, rallying fans to sign the petition, while also posting encouraging updates about ongoing outreach to streamers to pick up the series.
Among those landing their support to The Baker and the Beauty has been Eva Longoria, who executive produced last year’s ABC drama series Grand Hotel, which also had a Latnx cast. Like The Baker and the Beauty, it had a late spring/early summer launch and was canceled after one short season.
“Well I’m sure you heard that @abcnetwork cancelled @bakerandthebeauty yet another show with an entire Latino cast!,” Longoria wrote on Instagram. “This is bad news for the Latino community! Why doesn’t @abcnetwork give it more of a chance for our gente to find the show?! And ‘gente’ where are you guys? Show up and get loud. Representation matters on television! This was a sweet show about a good family! And one of the only Latino shows out there! We need this show to find another home!”
One Day at a Time co-creator Gloria Calderon Kellet knows very well what it takes for a show with a Latinx cast to find a new home after getting her comedy picked up Pop TV after it was canceled by Netflix.
“Disappointed to hear that the very charming @BakerBeautyABC was cancelled,” she wrote, linking to The Baker and the Beauty petition. “One of the few positive portrayals of a Latinx family on network tv @thelisavidal is the Latina mom America deserves on their networks! Networks DO BETTER!”
Others in the industry, including Zoe Saldana and Gabrielle Union also have voiced criticism of The Baker and the Beauty‘s cancelation their support for the efforts to find a new home.
The Baker and the Beauty petition has amassed more than 100K signatures. The series’ producers at Keshet Studios and Universal Television have been reaching out to potential buyers, which, per the show’s team, have included NBCU’s Peacock, Netflix and Amazon.
In an interview with Deadline, ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke said that the show’s soft ratings performance “unfortunately and primarily” led to its cancellation.
“The Baker and the Beauty is a show I was personally very fond of, it’s a very sweet and hopeful and inspired and optimistic show that I wish we had been able to find a bigger audience for,” she said.
Starring Victor Rasuk and Kelley in the title roles, the Notting Hill-esque Baker and the Beauty, from creator Dean Georgaris, Keshet Studios, Universal TV and ABC Studios, centers on Daniel Garcia (Rasuk), who is working in the family bakery and doing everything that his loving Cuban parents and siblings expect him to do. But on a wild Miami night he meets Noa Hamilton (Kelley), an international superstar and fashion mogul, and his life moves into the spotlight. Will this unlikely couple upend their lives to be together and pull their families into a culture clash?
Cast also includes Carlos Gomez, Dan Bucatinsky, Vidal, Belissa Escobedo, Michelle Veintimilla and David Del Rio.
Disappointed to hear that the very charming @BakerBeautyABC was cancelled. One of the few positive portrayals of a Latinx family on network tv. @thelisavidal is the Latina mom America deserves on their networks! Networks DO BETTER! https://t.co/XsRF7LAwWv #renewbakerandthebeauty
— Gloria Calderón Kellett aka Glorita to my family (@everythingloria) June 17, 2020
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