TORONTO — CBC says it is cancelling “Trickster” after Michelle Latimer, the co-creator of the Indigenous TV series, became embroiled in a controversy over her claimed ancestry.
The broadcaster says it held “many conversations” about the future of the series with producers, writers, actors, and Eden Robinson, the author of the books it was based on, and decided the planned second season will not go forward.
“Trickster” became a lightning rod of controversy after a CBC investigation challenged Latimer’s self-identification as being of Algonquin, Metis, and French heritage, from the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg and Maniwaki area in Quebec.
The report led to Latimer resigning from her role with the TV series in December, and her award-winning documentary “Inconvenient Indian” being pulled from the Sundance Film Festival.
“Trickster” was already in the script stages of the second season under Latimer and Sienna Films last year.
“Son of a Trickster” author Robinson said seeing a young, Indigenous cast “soar” was “one of the best parts of 2020.”
“The outpouring of support for the first season was magical,” the British Columbia-based Haisla and Heiltsuk writer said in a statement.
“I’m deeply grateful that CBC and Sienna respect this situation. It gives me hope that future collaborations with Indigenous creatives can be done with care and integrity.”
CBC says the “Trickster” cancellation doesn’t sway its commitment to Indigenous stories, and that eight other scripted projects are currently in development.
A statement from Latimer, issued after the “Trickster” cancellation, said seeing the world of the series realized on screen was “one of the greatest joys” of her life.
“I was not involved in the decision that was announced today and am sad to hear that season 2 has been cancelled,” she said in the statement issued Friday.
“I am incredibly proud of the entire team that worked so hard to bring ‘Trickster’ to life and I will forever be grateful to the cast and crew that poured their hearts and souls into its creation.”
The CBC declined an interview request Friday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 29, 2021.