Bridgerton, Homophobic

‘Bridgerton’ Faces Homophobic Backlash After Introducing Queer Storylines With A Black Woman

"Bridgerton" is under fire for its queer storylines that some think are producers way of meeting a "diversity checklist."

“Bridgerton” is receiving fierce backlash to its introduction of queer storylines in its newest season with some accusing producers of trying to meet a “diversity checklist.”

The second half of “Bridgerton” Season 3 premiered on Netflix over the weekend and sparked division among die-hard fans of the book series and lovers of the Netflix-only version. The television version has always strayed away from the straight white male-dominated characters introduced by novelist Julia Quinn in the “Bridgerton” books.

With a diverse cast of Black and white royal suitors, Shonda Rhimes took the beloved book series in a new direction with her colorful television adaption. However, devotees of the book series appear to be taking serious issue with the newly introduced queer storylines of Benedict Bridgerton (Luke Thompson) and Francesca Bridgerton (Hannah Dodd).

A Reddit mega-thread captures many of the strong opinions fans are having about Benedict finally exploring the bisexual traits he’s teased since Season 1 and expanding them into steamy threesomes with women and men. Francesca’s storyline has surprised many after striking a flame with John Stirling, Lord Kilmartin (Victor Alli), up until she met his gorgeous cousin Michaela (Masali Baduza).

Now, seeing Francesca fall in love with Michaela instead of Sterling and Benedict transitioning toward a queer storyline has some fans in an uproar. From the looks of it, book devotees are more bothered by the main cast being used to introduce queer romances rather than secondary characters.

“The absolute DISRESPECT done to John Stirling by having Francesca marrying him as what is essentially her beard,” one Reddit user wrote. “It feels incredibly cheap. Write an original queer story. Give us more, Brimsley! Bring in a queer character! Stop. Fu*king. With. The. Main. Cast.”

“I think more people would have been fine with the Michaela change if it wasn’t for the fact that in the books Francesca was so devoted and in love with John,” added someone else.

The backlash was so fierce that it resulted in a petition demanding showrunners “Restore Michael Stirling of Kilmartin in the Bridgerton Series!” One week after its launch, the petition received over 22,000 signatures toward its 25,000 goal.

One fan expressed her outrage at having the book series character Michael changed to Michaela, who happens to be played by a Black woman.

“Some minor changes to enhance the story can be excused, but changing Michael to Michaela is 100% ruining the essence of the original plot,” the critic wrote. “And for what? This is just so they can check boxes on their diversity checklist.”

“Bridgerton” is no stranger to criticism over the changes made in the Netflix series. But having the main cast go queer and with a Black woman at the forefront has seemingly thrown the book devotees over the edge.

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