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The Acolyte Showrunner On ‘Gayest Star Wars’ Backlash: ‘If Something Is Gay, That Doesn’t Mean It’d Be Bad’

The showrunner commented on her first reaction to those labeling the show as the ‘gayest Star Wars.’

Leslye Headland and Amandla Stenberg laughed off the backlash directed at ‘The Acolyte’ in an interview earlier this month. Headland discussed their reaction in a recent chat with The Hollywood Reporter:

“I was surprised by the question. Amandla and I just burst out laughing because that’s our knee-jerk reaction to being asked that, but to be honest, I don’t know what the term ‘gay’ means in that sense. I don’t believe that I’ve created queer, with a capital Q, content.”

The showrunner also addressed ongoing criticism of the show’s LGBTQ+ content and added:

“Honestly, I feel sad that people would think that if something were gay, that that would be bad. It makes me feel sad that a bunch of people on the internet would somehow dismantle what I consider to be the most important piece of art that I’ve ever made.”

Her Thoughts About The ‘Lesbian Witches’

‘The Acolyte’ introduced Mother Aniseya (Jodie Turner-Smith) and Mother Koril (Margarita Levieva) as the leaders of a coven referred to as ‘lesbian witches.’ Headland commented on this label:

“They’re in a matriarchal society. As a gay woman, I knew it would read that their sexuality is queer, but there also aren’t any men in their community. So, a closeness between the two of them would be natural. It seemed plot-driven. I would say it’s really reductive to call them lesbians. I think it means you’re not really paying attention to this story.”

The showrunner herself is a lesbian married to Vernestra Rwoh actress Rebecca Henderson. She says of those who feel represented by the coven:

“I’m proud of being a gay woman who’s accomplished this feat, and certainly, if my content is called queer, I don’t want to disown whatever queerness is in the show. I would be proud to create something that inspired queer people.”

‘The Acolyte’ is now streaming on Disney+.

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