Despite being lauded by critics and picking up Emmy nominations for its stars, Lovecraft Country was surprisingly not renewed for a second season on HBO. While one of the suspected causes was that the show had already exhausted all of the storylines from the book, showrunner Misha Green revealed after the cancellation that she had detailed plans for Season 2 that went beyond the source material, but for undisclosed reasons, HBO decided to cancel the series.
However, according to James Andrew Miller’s new book, Tinderbox: HBO’s Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers, Green herself is allegedly the real reason for Lovecraft Country getting the boot. While giving an interview about his book, which takes a deep dive into the premium channel’s history, Miller — who has also written books about ESPN and SNL — addressed what his reporting uncovered about Green creating a “toxic” and “hostile” work environment. Via The Hollywood Reporter:
When the show got canceled, there were two predominant explanations out there. One was it had gotten too expensive. The second was there wasn’t a compelling vision for the next season. It turns out neither was the real reason. I had several sources within HBO and elsewhere — people who worked on the show and people who represented people on the show — who said the environment on the show was not a healthy one. For HBO, it was a double-down on sadness — not only is it losing a show that was such an outlier in terms of what it was trying to say, but then to have a Black showrunner — and a female Black showrunner — is not something that happens every day, and people were incredibly excited about that. So, again, the word I come back to is “sadness” that it was not able to continue.
According to THR, Green declined to comment on the allegations in Tinderbox. What makes this revelation surprising is that Green’s success with Lovecraft Country led to continued work with HBO. In August it was revealed that Green would write a solo Black Canary film for HBO Max featuring Jurnee Smollet’s version of the character from Birds of Prey. Smollet also starred in Lovecraft Country, which makes the toxic work environment allegations all the more curious.
(Via The Hollywood Reporter)