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Hawaii fans still believe in representation

Decoding fandom is a weekly column that dives deep into the world of fan culture and is distributed on Wednesdays in the Daily Dot’s web_crawlr newsletter. If you want to get this column a day before we publish it, subscribe to web_crawlrwhere you’ll receive daily internet culture news straight to your inbox.


Even though it is true that more TV shows are being fact today that at no time in historythat doesn’t mean it’s easier for a series to be successful. Indeed, one of the most common facets of contemporary television fandom is the threat of cancellation.

More recently on the chopping block? NCIS: Hawaii, the fourth spin-off in the NCIS universe. Fans and the series the cast and crew found out last month that the show will not return for a fourth seasonleading to shock and outrage online.

Marketed as most diverse series in the franchise, NCIS: Hawaii East appreciated for its representationin particular of women of color and lesbians. Vanessa Lachey plays Jane Tennant, the first female lead in the NCIS-verse, and the relationship between Kate (Tori Anderson) and Lucy (Yasmine Al-Bustami), known as Kacyis systematically the most discussed aspect of the series. There is a real sense of camaraderie and community among the fans, who, adapting the language of the series, present themselves as a Ohana (or family).

Fans responded to the news of the cancellation with sadness and anger. Eager to see their favorite storylines – especially the one between Kate and Lucy – continue, they we were not willing to accept CBS decision. Although the channel said it canceled the show because of “finances and overall performance,” Fans rejected this reasoning by publishing information on the show’s strong ratings.

NCIS: Hawaii Fans Share What the Show Means to Them

Using the #SaveNCISHawaii hashtag, fans shared what the series means to themnoting the welcoming nature of fandom and the positive effect the characters have had on their lives.

In his book Post-object fandomRebecca Williams writes about three possible responses to the conclusion of a series: rejection speechTHE reiteration speechand the renegotiation speech. While they are pretty angry at CBS, NCIS: Hawaii the fans have clearly chosen the reiteration speech and use X as a public forum in which express their lasting attachment to the show and their hope for renewal.

Many fans highlighted the importance of representation while emphasizing the often dishonest way networks deploy the term. When fans talk about representation, it’s about discuss how the fictional characters or stories affected them personally. When networks or studios refer to representation, such as when CBS highlights the diversity of their series, it is to illustrate the supposed good they do in the world, which, like NCIS: Hawaii the fans will tell you, it’s more words than actions.

Much of the rhetoric used within the fandom centers on what fans do and don’t deserve. “NCIS: Hawai’i doesn’t deserve to stop there. Sapphic fans deserve better,” reads the biography of the Register NCIS Hawai’i X Account. This language recalls the #LGBTFansDeserveBetter movement from 2016, which started after Lexa’s deatha popular lesbian character on the CW series The 100. Instead of #BuryYourGays, the trending topic on TV today is #CancelYourGays.

Data collected in GLAAD’s annual report Where we are on television supports these anecdotal hypotheses on which shows are most likely to be canceled. They conclude that 36 series starring LGBTQ characters have been canceled during the 2023-2024 season, and that 170 of 468 LGBTQ Characters on TV This Year will not return next season.

THE NCIS: Hawaii the fandom has I didn’t take this news lying down. Fans created a petition to save the series and use the #SaveNCISHawaii hashtag to get CBS’ attention. Another group purchased a #SaveNCISHawaii billboard in Times Square.

Some are I’m looking for other fandoms for support and suggestions. On X, a fan wanted to know what”Jedi Mind Tricks» CRUSH fans were asking CBS to “cancel” the series on two different occasions. The X account is working on #SaveLegendsOfTomorrow, another series highlighting queer women, posted on NCIS: Hawaii petition And recognized the crossing between the two fandoms. For now, fans are still hoping things will improve.

Why is this important

The 2023 strikes have reminded us all inequality in Hollywood.

The audiences are even less willing to accept questionable decisions made by the studios than they were before.

Using social networks as a forum, NCIS: Hawaii the fans are work to give visibility to their causewhich revolves around the notion of representation as social good.

As these fans see it, if CBS really cared about representationthey would invest their money in a series that espouses these ideals instead of ordering more tired spin-offs.


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*First published: May 9, 2024, 6:00 a.m. CDT

Kira Deshler

Kira Deshler is deputy newsletter editor for the Daily Dot. Kira earned a master’s degree in media studies from UT Austin and has previously written for sites like Slash Film and Looper. She runs her own Substack newsletter, Paging Dr. Lesbian, and is a member of GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics.

Kira Deshler