Why Baker and the Beauty's Nathalie Kelley Thinks ABC's Decision to Cancel Series Is 'Especially Sad'
"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," said Nathalie Kelley
The Baker and the Beauty has been canceled after one season — and star Nathalie Kelley thinks it's an "especially sad" decision by the network.
After the series was not renewed by ABC earlier this week, Kelley, 34, released a statement sharing her thoughts on the cancellation while also supporting a Change.org petition that is calling for the show to be picked up and renewed at another network.
"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," Kelley, who plays Noa Hamilton on the show, begins. "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," continues the Peruvian-Australian actress. "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," she says.
The series centers on Daniel Garcia (Victor Rasuk), who "is working in the family bakery and doing everything that his loving Cuban parents and siblings expect him to do," according to the show's website. "But on a wild Miami night he meets Noa Hamilton, 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?"
Despite the cancellation, Kelley says that she remains "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," she writes, alluding to the current civil rights movement and ongoing protests that began in response to the killing of George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer.
Kelley concludes: "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."
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The petition is also asking that viewers are given "another season of the great show."
"The cast is amazing, the writing was great. Definitely a warm, fun, family show and the music is great too. We certainly need to see more. ABC did this fantastic little show a huge disservice with poor promotion," the petition states. "Netflix, hulu, NBCUniversal, AmazonPromeVideo, etc. Let's give this show the shot is deserves! We want more!!!!"
As of Thursday afternoon, more than 105,000 people have signed the online petition.
In an interview with Deadline, ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke said that the series' soft ratings performance “unfortunately and primarily” resulted in its cancellation.
"The Baker and the Beauty is a show I was personally very fond of," said Burke. "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."
Following news of the show's cancellation this week, Kelley spoke out on Twitter, encouraging her followers to stay "hopeful" that the show will find another home.
"Guys we appreciate the love and well wishes following ABC’s decision not to renew us for a second season. But honestly their loss will be someone else’s gain, so stay hopeful and activated about the show while we find it the right home!" tweeted Kelley. "Love u all #thebakerandthebeauty."