Alison Brie is proud of co-stars Sunita Mani, Sydelle Noelle, Britney Young, Kia Stevens, Ellen Wong Shakira Barrerafor for speaking on representation.
Alison Brie speaks proudly about her GLOW co-stars for addressing the need for representation in the show. GLOW was created by Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch in 2017 and follows the story of struggling actress Ruth Wilder, played by Brie, who enters the world of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (GLOW) in 1980s Los Angeles. There, she meets a cast of other women played by Kia Stevens, Sydelle Noel, Sunita Mani, and Ellen Wong, among others, who navigate their personal and professional lives together. GLOW earned widespread critical praise and emerged as one of Netflix’s standout original series.
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With three Emmy wins and two Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations, the comedy-drama was widely loved by fans who were anticipating a fourth season. Three weeks into filming, however, increasingly difficult obstacles for filming in the pandemic led to Netflix deciding to cancel GLOW season 4. Only one episode had been filmed at that point, though the actors were paid in full for the fourth season. Unfortunately, one of the most exciting elements of the upcoming season would’ve been a more representative cast.
In an interview with Collider, Brie says how proud she is of her GLOW co-stars speaking up about the importance of representation in the show. Cast members Stevens, Noel, Mani, Wong, Britney Young, and Shakira Barrera had apparently written a letter to Netflix, the producers, and show creators about the issue of representation. Brie praises them for their brave initiative and commitment to the larger-than-Hollywood cause:
“It was absolutely a beautiful thing…And I feel so proud of them for making their voices heard. I know that it took a lot of courage. And any actor can tell you, especially if you’re still recurring on a show, if you’re not in the top three on the call sheet, it can feel very precarious. It can feel really dangerous to speak up about anything, and I think that what they did is such a sign of the way things are changing for the better.”
The cast’s request for representation was received with open arms, as Mani shared on Instagram that the writers and series creators Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch were intending to reflect in GLOW season 4 some of the systemic problems the cast outlined. Brie also remarks on the show creators’ openness and desire to work with and for the cast, as she adds:
“I also think a lot of credit is owed to Liz and Carly. I just admire them so much for always being the type of women who are open to growing and changing and learning and admitting when they’ve made mistakes and wanting to make the show better…It made me even more proud to have worked with them and to have worked on a show that has a cast that’s filled out by Britney and Sydelle and Suni and Shakira and Kia and Ellen who had the courage to write that letter, but also showrunners who really stand by what they say they stand for and were willing to make those changes.”
Although a GLOW season 4 is no longer in the works, the conversation started by the show’s cast will hopefully be realized in other future productions as representation becomes a crucial theme for improvement in Hollywood. As Brie said herself, it is a brave thing to speak up about representation when there is so little of it. While GLOW season 4 will not be where these inclusionary changes will be seen, Netflix and the showrunners’ willingness to address the issue of representation from the cast perhaps bode well for how other shows in the future will receive the dialogue.
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