‘Trickster’ Canceled By CBC Following Co-Creator’s Indigenous-Heritage Controversy; Season 1 To Finish Airing On the CW

CBC has reversed its Season 2 renewal decision for indigenous supernatural drama series Trickster after co-creator/director Michelle Latimer became embroiled in a controversy over her claimed indigenous ancestry.

In the U.S., the CW acquired the series, which debuted on the network on Jan. 12. Three episodes into its six-episode run, the drama has delivered decent numbers for a lower-cost acquisition. The network will air the rest of the Season 1 episodes; I hear it is unlikely to take over the project as a CW original following its cancelation by CBC.

Based on Eden Robinson’s novel Son of a Trickster, the show stars newcomer Joel Oulette as an Indigenous Haisla teenager and small-time drug dealer in Kitimat, British Columbia, who becomes increasingly aware of the magical events that seem to follow him.

The series was working on scripts for Season 2 when CBC in December aired a bombshell  investigation, disputing Latimer’s claims that she is of Algonquin, Metis, and French heritage, from the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg and Maniwaki area in Quebec. The revelations sparked a firestorm, with two producers quitting Trickster in protest and Latimer eventually resigning from the show apologizing.

“We have had many conversations over the last few weeks with a view to continuing production on a second season of Trickster,” CBC said in a statement. “Those conversations included producers, writers, actors, and the author of the books on which Trickster is based. Fully respecting everyone’s perspective, season two will not move forward as planned unfortunately. CBC is extremely proud we were able to bring this compelling story to the screen and are grateful to the many talented individuals who made it possible. We are as committed as ever to telling other important Indigenous stories, of which there are many. In fact, CBC currently has eight such scripted projects in development and we look forward to sharing more details about what’s next in the coming months.

Said Robinson, “One of the best parts of 2020 was watching the young, Indigenous cast soar. The outpouring of support for the first season was magical. I’m deeply grateful that CBC and Sienna respect this situation. It gives me hope that future collaborations with Indigenous creatives can be done with care and integrity.”

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