Bridgerton author responds to backlash over future queer romance storyline

Bridgerton author responds to backlash over future queer romance storyline
New Bridgerton season three part two trailer

Book-to-TV adaptations often make changes for the small screen and the Netflix hit Bridgerton is no different.

(Spoilers for the books and potential TV storylines ahead).

The third season of the popular Regency romance show recently dropped on the streaming giant, where it's been hinted that an upcoming season will include a gay romance which has received mixed reactions from viewers.

During the season finale, we see Francesca Bridgerton (Hannah Dodd) with her new husband John Sterling (Victor Alli) who introduces her to his cousin Michaela (Masali Baduza) and Francesca can be seen stumbling over her words as she greets her.

Michaela is set to become Francesca's love interest since in her book, “When He Was Wicked", after the death of her husband, Francesca goes on to marry Michael Sterling.

This move to gender-swap the characters for a queer love story caused widespread reaction from fans.

On the one hand, many have praised the change as they have called for an LGBTQ+ romance in the series, while those who are fans of the book series have expressed their disappointment that the show is diverging from the original plot.

Following the online criticism, Julia Quinn (the author of the book series) posted a statement sharing her support for the storyline and noted how showrunner Jess Brownell conferred with her on this matter.

“Anyone who has seen an interview with me from the past four years knows that I am deeply committed to the Bridgerton world becoming more diverse and inclusive as the stories move from book to screen,” Quinn wrote via Instagram on Tuesday.

“But switching the gender of a major character is a huge change, and so when Jess Brownell first approached me with the idea of turning Michael into Michaela for the show, I needed more information before conferring my agreement.”

Quinn believes Francesca's season will be “the most heart-wrenching story of the show" just like the book and noted that this could “pack even more of a punch” since John Stirling has been “getting a lot more time on the screen that he ever did on the page.”

At the end, she concluded: "I think we are going to end up with two stories, one on page and one on screen, and they will both be beautiful and moving."

Meanwhile, Brownell has also commented on how "important" it was to her to tell a story in the series about "the queer experience."

“It was important to me in creating a queer character not to just drop in a queer character to check a box but to actually tell a story about the queer experience and what it feels like to be queer,” she told The Hollywood Reporter.

“So, it felt like Francesca’s book was actually a really clean one to adapt, and we do plan on following the book pretty closely.”

The third season of Bridgerton is now available to watch on Netflix.

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