The CBS television network caused a stir on Saturday by canceling a Nancy Drew show, saying that the likely audience skewed “too female” for the network’s audience. Feminists took to Twitter to vent their outrage about a network “alienating half of the population.”
While the network’s language might have been less than ideal, it is perfectly sensible to pull a show because it lacks a wide appeal. Nevertheless, the backlash proved astounding.
Here are some of the tweets that sent #TooFemale trending across the United States. They are a sample of 11,800 social media postings.
Only CBS could alienate half the world’s population with two words #TooFemale
— amy (@teresaIisbon) May 15, 2016
Where’s the Too Female network? I would like to support it with my eyeballs. #toofemale
— Writing Writer (@WritingRighter) May 15, 2016
Some shot back, emphasizing the success of other female-dominated shows, like Scandal.
And, of course, there is the obligatory smashing of the “patriarchy.”
— NoodleHeadProds (@noodleheadprods) May 15, 2016
In all fairness, this may prove just the beginning for the show Drew. While CBS cancelled the show, it is shopping the idea to other outlets. The new show would feature Persian actress Sarah Shahi, portraying an NYPD 3o-something version of the crime book character. Shahi herself noticed the explosion of #NancyDrew and #TooFemale on Twitter, and expressed gratitude for the support.
Wow! The outpour of love from women AND MEN is incredible. But all good! Something amazing is around the corner. #toofemale
— Sarah Shahi (@onlysarahshahi) May 15, 2016
In addition to being the centerpiece of a longstanding series of detective novels, Nancy Drew has spawned multiple films and television series in the past, not to mention video games. The character has been cited as a formative influence by numerous influential women, such as Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Sonia Sotomayor to likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, and former First Lady Barbara Bush.
No matter what happens with the show Drew, the character has had a huge impact. Could this reaction bode well for the show’s prospects?