The Baker and the Beauty may be canceled, but Nathalie Kelley has released a new statement on the matter, conceding that the decision to end the drama is "extremely tone deaf."
"We are seeing now more than ever that representation is important for Black and brown people of color. How we are represented on our television shows determines how society sees us, and the empathy and support they will grant our communities," Kelley said.
"When we are constantly depicted as narcos and maids, we can’t expect to find favor with voters when they go to the polls and elect leaders who will decide on the fate of immigrants."
“Baker and the Beauty is a show that depicts Latin families as warm, lovable, full of joy and compassion and humor,” Kelley adds.
“A cancellation by ABC means that there are now no shows on the networks with a Latinx cast. At a time when the public is marching in the streets demanding representation and diversity this is an extremely tone deaf decision.”
Kelley took to social media Monday to air her thoughts on the cancellation.
“[ABC]’s loss will be someone else’s gain,” she wrote on Twitter, “so stay hopeful and activated about the show while we find it the right home!”
Kelley is urging fans to sign a petition to renew the series. At this time, it has over 110,000 signatures.
ABC boss Karey Burke revealed that the cancellation decision was more about the numbers than anything else.
“The Baker and the Beauty is a show I was personally very fond of, 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,” she told Deadline earlier this week.
The Baker and the Beauty Season 1 averaged 2.5 million total viewers and a 0.5 rating in the demo, making it ABC's lowest-rated drama.
Based on the Israeli series, the series starred Victor Rasuk (Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Stalker) as Daniel Garcia, a regular Joe who works at his parents’ Cuban bakery in Miami. On the night that his girlfriend Vanessa proposes to him by singing Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” in the middle of a fancy restaurant, Daniel bumps into the beautiful Noa Hamilton (Dynasty‘s Nathalie Kelley), a model-turned-fashion mogul who is coming off a highly publicized split with her cheating actor boyfriend.
An unlikely romance between the baker and the beauty kicks off. The robust cast also included Dan Bucatinsky (Scandal) as Noa’s manager Lewis, Carlos Gómez (The Glades), Lisa Vidal (Being Mary Jane, The Division), David Del Rio (The Troop), and Belissa Escobedo as Daniel’s father Rafael, mother Mari, brother Mateo and younger sister Natalie, respectively.
You can read Kelley's full statement below:
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.
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. 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.
Nevertheless I remain 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.
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.
Sincerely, Nathalie Kelley
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.