The HBO Max show “Little Ellen” — based around the childhood of liberal TV host Ellen DeGeneres — got canceled earlier this month, despite the fact 20 episodes of the show have yet to air.
As Variety reports: “Not only are the first two seasons of the animated show, centered around a young Ellen DeGeneres, gone from HBO Max. In addition, 20 fully completed, unreleased episodes — comprising the next two seasons — will never be released.”
This is surprising. You would expect HBO Max to just release the shows; they are a streaming platform, after all. That the remaining episodes weren’t released reflects very badly on the content.
Ellen claims the show featured several same-sex couples, which she felt would help the largely-child audience to get “exposed to what is reality”
“It’s these sweet little characters that always have the best intentions and are hopefully teaching kindness and supporting one another, and everything that a cartoon should be,” DeGeneres said to the Associated Press. “But it just happens to have a couple of characters that have same-sex parents. Which is great. I think it’s always important for kids to be exposed to what is reality. This is reality,” she said. “It’s supportive.”
According to Variety, the show’s co-creator Jennifer Skelly is devastated by the cancelation and she would like the remaining 20 episodes to be released in some form or fashion.
“It’s really devastating. I’ve worked on a million things that have never seen the light of day, but it’s pretty rare that you get this far down the pipe — it’s literally done — and it’s still not going to see the light of day.” She continued. “In the streaming culture, I don’t know everything about how that process is done. But to me, it seems like, ‘Well you’ve got them. Just flip a switch. They’re done and they’re delivered.’ But obviously there’s so much corporate stuff going on in terms of what that means for them financially.”
Variety reports the reason for the cancelation is so the parent company Warner Bros. Discovery can avoid paying residuals. According to Breitbart, Little Ellen was released with a slate of other programs “aimed at preschoolers that will spotlight diversity, representation, and other woke issues.”