CBC confirms cancellation of ‘Trickster’ following Latimer controversy

Joel Ouelette, the star of CBC Indigenous supernatural drama Trickster. The public broadcaster has confirmed the show's second season won't be proceeding.

CBC has confirmed it won’t be moving forward with a second season of Trickster, the critically-acclaimed Indigenous sci-fi series formerly helmed by Michelle Latimer.

Based on Eden Robinson’s 2017 novel Son of a Trickster, the series was filmed in Kitimat, BC and renewed for a second season even prior to its premiere on CBC Television last October. It had been picked up internationally by The CW in the U.S., where it started airing earlier this month, in addition to SBS in Australia and SyFy in the UK.

Following controversy over the legitimacy of Latimer’s claims of Indigenous ancestry, she resigned as director and co-writer in December. Her departure followed the protest resignations of executive producer Tony Elliot and consulting producer, Danis Goulet, a Cree/Métis filmmaker.

“We have had many conversations over the last few weeks with a view to continuing production on a second season of Trickster,” said a statement issued by CBC. “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,” the statement continued. “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.”

Eden Robinson

Eden Robinson, who helped adapt her novel for the screen, also issued a statement, saying she respects the public broadcaster’s decision.

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

The show’s predominantly-Indigenous cast, led by Joel Ouelette in the role of Jared, also featured Crystle Lightning, Kalani Queypo, Anna Lambe, Georgina Lightning and Nathan Alexis. The series marked the first time CBC had developed a TV show based on books by an Indigenous author.

The Latimer controversy has also resulted in the National Film Board (NFB) pulling her documentary, The Inconvenient Indian, from all upcoming festivals, including the upcoming Sundance Film Festival. The NFB’s Indigenous Advisory Group and industry partners, 90th Parallel Productions, along with producer Jesse Wente, have withdrawn the film from active distribution. NFB says over the coming months, it will continue to dialogue with Indigenous communities to explore an accountable path forward for the film.


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