“Wynonna Earp” creator Emily Andras talks WayHaught survival

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AE: Now more than a dozen writers and producers have signed a pledge, nicknamed the Lexa Pledge, in response to the campaign. I understand you’ve been approached but have so far declined to sign. Can you tell me why?

EA: I am incredibly close with (Noelle Carbone), who has created the pledge. We have discussed it with her in earnest, very, very closely. I have discussed it with many of my people. I feel a little nervous that the pledge was adopted by a particular fanbase. And I feel like I would rather let my work speak for itself. I am nervous about signing anything to do with my storytelling. Because I feel like who gets to be the keeper of that and decide when I’ve broken it or whether I’ve kept my word?

And I realize I am just sounding like a million writers who said I haven’t done that. But I feel, and I know this might sound arrogant, that my past work and my future work will speak to my promise that I am aware of the trope and aware of the trappings. But I am just nervous about signing anything that instructs me on how to tell stories.

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AE: Can you tell me about the impact you’ve seen the Bury Your Gays trope have on fans so far this year. Have many reached out to you?

EA: One thing struck me about it that is actually surprising, it really made me realize how many producers and network executives and writers truly had never heard of the trope. Like I think a lot of people were honestly caught unaware by the vitriol and anger and hurt. Working in the medium I have, and on shows with LGBT representation, I live in that world. I live in a world of strong female characters and lots of lesbians and whatnot. So I was surprised that some of my own producers hadn’t heard of it. People were kind of ignorant about why this matters and I think, again, that is changing.

I’ve been sad for the fans. It’s difficult. What I think about is the 14-year-olds. I think about 14-year-old Noelle Carbone. What is it like watching television right now if you’re gay and maybe looking for a safe space and looking to see yourself represented. I think some of us will fight and try to make it better. I’m not saying we won’t make mistakes, but you are being heard by certain writers and certain creators. And there is a new generation that is coming up. And I do think it’s going to change. It has to change. 

 

AE: As you’ve mentioned, you of course were also part of Lost Girl, which remains one of only around 16 shows (accounting for about 30 lesbian or bisexual characters) to grant couples a happy ending in the history of television. What did you learn from being part of Lost Girl about the queer community and fans?

EA: I’m exceptionally proud about that on Lost Girl that we took the protagonist, the heroine, the lead of the show and gave her permission to end up with another woman. To have a relationship that was same-sex and was a romance, we really fought for that. It was 100 percent the right thing to do. It was the relationship with the most exceptional chemistry, the relationship worth fighting for.

I think we really need to get to the point where not every LGBT character is the same character. Not every lesbian relationship or gay relationship or trans relationship or straight relationship is the same. I think you have to write to the character. So keep writing three-dimensional characters. And if your fanbase falls in love with the characters they will follow you anywhere. That has been really gratifying for me to be able to write amazing characters. 

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AE: What do you think is the right balance between the writers and creatives on a show and the fans and fanbase who follow and support shows? I know there have been complaints on both sides. Some say fandom wants to dictate what writers write. And other say writers don’t listen to what fandom needs. 

EA: I think if you’re courting a particular community that has been maybe misrepresented you have to be aware you are asking them to support something in a way that you then need to be supportive in turn. Nobody wants to feel tricked, in real life or when sitting down at the end of a hard day to watch something that is supposed to bring them pleasure.

That being said, we all can’t drive the bus, or we’re going to drive off a cliff. My job is to bring the drama. All the fans can’t have their hands on the wheels, or it will end up being nothing. You can be on the bus, you can get off the bus if you hate where the bus is going. But you don’t get to drive the bus. But if you hate it, that’s the power you have. 

The other truth is when you write a show with a lot of relationships and different characters and different kinds of romances, probably someone will be unhappy in the fandom, right? Unless you orgy it–and I’m willing to take that under advisement because it is an Emily Andras show–I think you need to have a plan and be aware of the trappings. But the show has to have a voice. And hopefully, that’s what will make you fall in love with the show.

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AE: So, finally, what can folks expect from these final four episodes of the season?

EA: A massive shit storm. Massive cliffhangers including a huge one this week. I would say that Wynonna’s past comes back to haunt her in a big way. We have Bobo Del Rey and his fur coat waiting in the wings. It holds all kinds of secrets and evil plans. So hang on, it’s a blistering ride with maybe the occasional WayHaught cute moment in between, when we need a reprieve. Oh, and Nicole Haught will have her hair down again. Repeat, Nicole Haught will put her hair down again. So everyone sit down, get your lemonade.

Wynonna Earp airs at 10 p.m. Fridays on Syfy.

More by Ms. Snarker: @dorothysnarker or dorothysurrenders.com.