In every generation, there is a chosen one… and in this gen, she’s a woman of colour.
When Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer debuted in 1997, it pushed boundaries for queer and female representation in media, horror and action. Buffy, the blonde-haired teen vampire slaying fave played by icon Sarah Michelle Geller, was a clever subversion of the conventional archetypes of female characters in horror. Instead of a damsel in distress or California valley girl, the sassy, stake-wielding hero spent her nights prowling graveyards, training and hunting down demons with her ragtag group of friends and fellow Scooby Gang.
Then, in season four, Buffy’s best friend and witch Willow (Alyson Hannigan) came out as gay and fell in love with fellow gay pre-TikTok witch, Tara (Amber Benson), marking one of TV’s first ever depictions of genuine lesbian romance on-screen. The show is genuinely one of the best shows I’ve ever seen—“Hush” and “The Body” live rent-free in my mind and ”Once More With Feeling” walked so Riverdale could run.
So, fittingly, the reboot looks to be ahead or at least of the current times, too. In fact, so much so, that according to Benson, the new modern Buffy will be a woman of colour. Heck yeahhhhh.
In a new interview with Digital Spy, Benson has revealed that while OG creator Joss Whedon was involved, “a woman of colour was going to be running the show, and Buffy was going to be a woman of colour. I thought that was really important.”
“So Buffy, it had some diversity,” she admits. “But I feel like it could have had more. And that was just the time. That sort of onus wasn’t on the creative world to show the world in a diverse way.”
“I would very much like to see Buffy in a diverse world. I think it would be a really amazing thing.”
Back in May, Whedon told Metro UK that if the series were made today, he would make Willow bisexual.
“It [was] like, ‘OK, you can’t make Willow bi, you can’t say this is a phase, because that’s what people do to deny their existence,’” the Marvel director told the outlet. “So, if I did it now, I’d be like, ‘yes, she can be bi. Because some people are!’ But back then it was like, ‘no… we’re not ready for that.’”
“I’d make Willow bi but y’all not ready for that conversation” – Joss Whedon in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer writer’s room, probably.
The Buffy the Vampire Slayer reboot is being helmed by Whedon and showrun by Midnight, Texas creator Monica Owusu-Breen. Buffy is an extremely passionate project for Owusu-Breen, as she told Digital Spy, “for some genre writers it’s Star Wars. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is my Star Wars.”
“Before I became a writer, I was a fan,” she explained. “For seven seasons, I watched Buffy Summers grow up, find love, kill that love. I watched her fight and struggle and slay.”
“Joss Whedon’s brilliant and beautiful series can’t be replicated. I wouldn’t try to. But here we are, 20 years later… and the world seems a lot scarier. So maybe, it could be time to meet a new slayer. And that’s all I can say.”