The Black-led CBC and BET Plus series The Porter has been making waves in the entertainment industry, but it seems that the success of the show has been short-lived. Despite winning 12 Canadian Screen Awards last week, including Best Drama Series, the series will not be returning for a second season.
The Porter, a fictional series based on true facts, tells the story of Canada’s Black train porters in the 1920s and a coming-of-age film set in Scarborough. The show was aired last year on CBC Gem in Canada and throughout the USA on BET Plus. The series was praised for its spotlight on the railway workers’ pursuit of safer working conditions, better pay, and a union.
The show boasts a largely Black Canadian creative team, including co-creator Arnold Pinnock and showrunners Marsha Greene and Annmarie Morais. Late last week, the winners of the Canadian Screen Awards were announced, and The Porter was the television show with the most nominations this year, walking away with a dozen awards.
However, before the champagne corks could be popped, the news came that The Porter would definitely not be returning for a second season. The CBC lost its American partner, and despite the network pushing for a second season, BET+ decided not to move forward. The executive producer, Jennifer Kawaja, told The Canadian Press that no other American TV networks could be brought into the project.
The cancellation of The Porter has left many fans disappointed, especially as the show was one of the few that highlighted the struggles of Black Canadians in the early 20th century. The show’s success and subsequent cancellation also highlight the challenges that Black-led productions face in the entertainment industry.
Despite the obstacles, it is hoped that more shows like The Porter will be produced, and the stories of underrepresented communities will continue to be shared.