DISCLAIMER: I am not affiliated with any network or person mentioned in this article. I am just a fan of television using Buzzfeed Community as a platform through which to express my opinions. Other than what is explicitly cited, the content of this article is made up of my opinions. I am aware that while many people share my views, and while this piece is biased, there are some who do not agree, and I respect their views just as much as I hope they can respect mine.
OKAY SO, have you heard of "Castle?" It is a crime procedural (love story) that is currently airing on ABC and is in its 8th season. The basic plot is that a NYPD detective (as played by Stana Katic) brings a New York Times bestselling author (as played by Nathan Fillion) in for questioning after a series of murders were staged based off of scenes in his novels. One thing leads to another, and he ends up following her around, helping her and her team solve cases. They fall in love and get married. The show is mainly about the development of their beautiful love story instead of the actual case of the week. It's all a lot more of an emotional rollercoaster than this, but this is the gist.
And to understand the rest of the article, here is a breakdown of the cast:
Stana Katic plays Detective Kate Beckett (LEAD)
Nathan Fillion plays Richard Castle (LEAD)
Jon Huertas plays Javier Esposito (SECONDARY CHARACTER)
Seamus Dever plays Kevin Ryan (SECONDARY CHARACTER)
Tamala Jones plays Lanie Parish (SECONDARY CHARACTER)
Susan Sullivan plays Martha Rodgers (SECONDARY CHARACTER)
Molly Quinn (TERTIARY CHARACTER)
Toks Olagundoye (TERTIARY CHARACTER)
Monday morning, Deadline reported that ABC was cutting two veteran - as in they have been on the show since the very first episode - actors from the show should the show return for a 9th season.
The first being Tamala Jones and the second being Stana Katic.
Let's make it clear:
"I hear the decision for Katic not to return was made by ABC and ABC Studios.....I hear Katic was never approached to re-up her contract and was not offered an opportunity to continue on the show."
So, she was FIRED. They both were. AND DO YOU WANT TO KNOW THE REASON THEY CITED? DO YOU? WAIT FOR IT. GET READY.
" Instead, I hear she, as well as Jones, were informed late last week that for budgetary reasons, they won't be asked to come back for Season 9."
BUDGETARY REASONS. YES, YOU READ THAT RIGHT.
To add on to the on to the injustice, let me break it down even further.
ABC CLAIMS TO HAVE CUT TWO FEMALES FROM THEIR SHOW BECAUSE THEY COULDN'T (DIDN'T WANT TO LBR) PAY FOR THEM.
One was the female co-lead.
The other was a female person of color.
ABC is saying that they do not wish to continue paying these two women after 8 seasons of hard work. They literally fired them, but could afford to keep all the other characters and show interest in investing in a 13 episode long 9th season.
Last year they also fired Penny Johnson Jerald, another woman of color.
Yet, the men remain employed and paid.
"I've had so much fun playing the wonderful and unfiltered Lanie over the past eight seasons. I will greatly miss the cast and crew – it's been a privilege getting to work with this incredibly hard working group of people. Thank you to ABC for this opportunity and to the fans for their unwavering support. It's been an incredible journey and I can't wait for what lies ahead!"
"Rather then distract from what was an amazing experience, I would just like to say that I'm very grateful to ABC for giving me the opportunity to be a part of a much beloved show. Thank you to the fans."
The two played best friends on the show for eight seasons now.
While Tamala Jones has never gotten the screen-time she deserved (and fans have complained about this through the years), the public outcry has been larger for her co-star, Stana Katic, THE CO-LEAD OF THE SHOW.
She is one half of a beloved crime solving duo.
She is one half of Mr. and Mrs. Castle.
She is one half of "a writer and his muse."
She is one half of the show.
Or at least....she was.
This is the synopsis of the show from the show's ABC homepage:
"When viewers first met Richard Castle, a famous mystery novelist, he was creatively blocked. But when the NYPD questioned him in connection with a series of murders staged to imitate crime scenes from his books, Castle found inspiration in NYPD Detective Kate Beckett. Once that initial case was solved, Castle and Beckett continued to investigate strange homicides in New York, combining Castle's writer intuition and Beckett's creative detective work. In the Season 7 finale, Beckett was faced with a choice about her future. Now that she's been promoted to Captain, how will New York's famous couple adapt in Season 8?"
I have edited the summary to take out the role of Kate Beckett, played by Stana Katic:
"When viewers first met Richard Castle, a famous mystery novelist, he was creatively blocked. But when the NYPD questioned him in connection with a series of murders staged to imitate crime scenes from his books,
Castle found inspiration in NYPD Detective Kate Beckett. Once that initial case was solved, Castle and Beckett continued to investigate strange homicides in New York, combining Castle's writer intuition and Beckett's creative detective work. In the Season 7 finale, Beckett was faced with a choice about her future. Now that she's been promoted to Captain, how will New York's famous couple adapt in Season 8?"
However, the outcry is not so much about the fact that Katic is not returning, but rather more about the fact that she "was never approached to re-up her contract and was not offered an opportunity to continue on the show," according to Deadline.
Yes, after 8 seasons of playing this female co-lead on ABC's second longest running scripted series, she was simply told that her services were no longer needed, as in she was fired, - even though she has always been a co-lead and is MARRIED to the titular character.
Here is what her co-stars had to say:
Here is a small sample of what the fans had to say:
This public outcry was unlike anything I have ever seen. Hashtags such as #IStandWithStana, #StanaDeservesBetter, and even #CancelCastle spread like wildfire on social media. The actress in question trended on Twitter and Facebook for hours/more than a day.
Here is what the show's creator and show runner of the first six seasons had to say:
After more than 24 hours, the other half of Castle and Beckett, Nathan Fillion, broke his silence and said:
THEN, THE SWEET RAY OF HUMAN SUNSHINE/ANGEL/CINNAMON ROLL WHO IS TOO GOOD AND TOO PURE FOR THIS WICKED WORLD WHO MUST BE PROTECTED AT ALL COSTS ALSO KNOWN AS STANA KATIC BREAKS HER SILENCE WITH:
Now, I am fully aware of the fact that we do not know all the facts. It has also been claimed that reported tension between Stana and Nathan may have contributed to this, but of course this is not confirmed. So, as it always is with such things, the whole story in its pure, true form is not available to the public, but what is astounding is that ABC is completely okay with sending the message that they could not afford/did not want to keep a female lead and a woman of color on one of their hit TV series. They are completely okay with this being the public perception of them.
Well, I sure as fuck am not.
Woman are not disposable. If this can happen to these two successful women who are loved by millions, then what's to stop it from happening to the average woman? What message does this send to the young girls and women who make up the majority of their fanbases? That they aren't needed? That their work isn't respected or worth paying for? This is not what these actresses stand for, and in fact, it goes completely against what their fictional counterparts stand for.
Katic is just one of many female leads who have been either killed or written off of their respective shows according to Variety,:
"Megan Boone's character was apparently killed off on "The Blacklist" on Friday. Stana Katic is being written out of the long-running ABC show "Castle" — the show in which she was the co-lead. Many TV viewers are still reeling from the way that Nicole Beharie's character was killed off on "Sleepy Hollow" just over a week ago."
What is happening to television? When did leads on all shows become so dispensable? It's completely bewildering.
In the mean time, I'm going to just sit back and mourn the loss of my favorite TV character of all time. There are four more episodes left to appreciate this angel:
And to Stana: thank you for your years of dedication in playing one of the strongest female characters on television. Thank you for creating a fictional role model for young girls to believe in and look up to. Thank you for being a real life role model yourself, showing young girls and women everywhere how to handle themselves with class, elegance and grace while never sacrificing your intellect, wit, or self worth in the face of adversity. We all can't wait to see you shine in the future. 💕