2016 is not a good year for women on television. Female characters have been dropping like flies.
Whether they be recurring characters in an important, highly publicized storyline (like The 100‘s Lexa) or the black lead killed in order to prop up her white male co-star’s storyline (such as Abby Mills on Sleepy Hollow), we are losing quality female characters left and right. The latest casualties (that’s right! More than one!) are both from Castle – Tamala Jones’s Lanie and Stana Katic’s Beckett (aka THE LEAD).
In a move that already has fans outraged (and other cast members shocked) it was announced earlier today that Stana Katic will not be returning as Kate Beckett in season 9 of Castle. Gone too is Beckett’s best friend and colleague Lanie Parish, played by Tamala Jones, in a major cast shakeup. Funny how these “major shakeups” always seem to require losing female characters and not male characters. And while Castle was pretty unique in the sense that the show had more women than men, getting rid of two female characters at once is insulting – especially when you consider the circumstances.
Whereas Alicia Debnam-Carey left The 100 because of her role on Fear the Walking Dead and Nicole Beharie left Sleepy Hollow because they were doing absolutely nothing with her character, apparently, neither Katic nor Jones were approached to re-up their contracts. It comes down to money, basically. They were allegedly told it was for budgetary reasons. I guess since women in Hollywood (and women everywhere, really) make less than their male co-stars, they had to get rid of two female cast members rather than just one in order to save money.
Castle has not yet been renewed for season 9, by the way, so this may not even matter, except for the precedent it sets and the awful message it sends to women in the industry – and the female fans who often make up the loyal fanbases. The message I am getting from this is that male characters are indispensable, but female characters are disposable. I mean, Beckett is the female lead. Her relationship with Nathan Fillion’s Castle has been the cornerstone and the focus of the show since the pilot, their chemistry pretty much made the entire show, and I honestly don’t see how it could continue on without her. (It seems I’m not the only one, according to a poll from Hollywood Reporter.)
The sad thing is that it’s only April.
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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