Following the Netflix news, the cast members took to social media to express their feelings about the show’s two-year run coming to an end. On Instagram, actress Sammie Haney, who played Esperanza, was one of the first to express her feelings about the situation, writing:
“We regret to inform you that Raising Dion has been canceled. Thank you so much for the incredible support from our great fans! On par with Season one, season two was a success, even if you only consider how many people watched the entire season and expressed a desire for a third season!”
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Ja’Siah Young, the lead actor who played the titular hero Dion, contributed his thoughts to the discourse by saying: “It isn’t any of us, it isn’t me, and it isn’t any of you people. You guys were fantastic, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself throughout the entire experience. Thank you very much.”
It was an endearing series that followed the story of Nicole Warren (Alisha Wainwright) and her son Dion (Young), whose battle against antagonist The Crooked Man endeared it to viewers. So, what was the reason for the cancellation?
What Caused Raising Dion to Be Canceled?
Netflix has been tight-lipped about its decision to cancel Raising Dion, although financial difficulties may have been at the core of the show’s early cancellation. The stock of Netflix plummeted due to the loss of 200,000 customers, resulting in more heartache as investors withdrew $1.1 billion of their investment.
According to Rotten Tomatoes, the streaming service is expected to lose another two million users in the coming months, which cannot be good news for the brand and its home of binge-worthy entertainment.
Suppose this is the actual reason behind Raising Dion’s termination. In that case, we might be in for much more painful cancellations in the future as Netflix continues to tighten its purse strings to accommodate its growing audience.
Netflix will indeed have to make some difficult decisions in the following months. Ginny and Georgia are not among them. However, Netflix’s decision to decrease the shelf life of Raising Dion was unquestionably a mistake.
When Wainwright voiced her opinions on Instagram, she did it most concisely.
“I am heartbroken that Raising Dion will not be continuing, not only because I will not be able to work with my amazing cast and crew in the same way again, but also because I believe Raising Dion did so much for little Black and Brown children and children with disabilities,” she wrote in an open letter.
“More tales from our great Dion world would be fantastic, and I wish we could tell them more. My heart hurts for the children that are suffering.”
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It’s a perfect summation of why Raising Dion should have remained on Netflix’s list of canceled shows. There is a shortage of diversity in the superhero genre, much alone a program with a Black and young protagonist.
It’s not the right moment to reduce the number of marginalized groups represented in this industry (Black Panther, Shang-Chi and the 10 Rings, Ms. Marvel, and so on). It’s not enough for us to throw in a few token ethnicities and then pat ourselves on the back with a “job well done” mentality.
Black and brown youngsters need to regard themselves as powerful and fearless, even when the likelihood of developing mind-moving powers is low. Raising Dion speaks to the aspirations of young Black children, but it also has a beautiful way of examining the problems of the Black community.
It did it to appeal to youngsters of all races but without minimizing the realities of racial prejudices in the world. Few shows can meet that criterion.
Raising Dion, like Wainwright, was able to promote diversity on numerous levels. The figure of feisty Esperanza, who was not held back by her disabilities, provided a voice to the disabled. She was not meant to be pity-worthy but rather a figure that oozed confidence, something lacking on popular TV.
It was also encouraging to see a Black working mother who was not shown as a shameful figure or as someone who must be rationalized to fit in with the rest of society. Nicole Warren was brave despite her doubts, capable, and not in need of salvation at the time.
We won’t learn who the Crooked Man is or how Pat’s return to the evil side will lead to the strong villain we saw in the post-credits scene because of the surprise ending.
There is a bright future ahead for Dion, though. So even if the Dion-verse may never come to fruition, at least we can comfort that he’s still doing his best to clean up the neighborhood one villain at a time.