Anybody else having déjà vu? Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira’s long-awaited adaptation of Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, has been scrapped by HBO Max. The series planned to start shooting earlier this year but was set back by the coronavirus pandemic. According to Variety, Nyong’o was forced to leave the project due to scheduling conflicts. The show received a ten-episode straight-to-series order at HBO Max in 2019 after years of adaptation talks. Nyong’o and Gurira would both serve as executive producers, with Nyong’o starring and Gurira writing. Joining Nyong’o was Uzo Aduba, Corey Hawkins, Tireni Oyenusi, and Zackary Momoh. Nyong’o and Gurira, a dream team since 2016’s Broadway play Eclipsed, had previously planned to adapt the novel into a film co-starring David Oyelowo.
Americanah is just the latest TV dream to be crushed by COVID. Several female-led shows have gotten the ax across television, like Hulu’s High Fidelity, Showtime’s On Becoming a God in Central Florida, and Spectrum Originals’ L.A.’s Finest. Netflix has been particularly trigger-happy, canceling GLOW, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Altered Carbon, The Society, and several other female- or POC-led shows. When this is all over, what will we have left? Cops?!