HBO Max’s flagship gay pirate series Our Flag Means Death has been cancelled after two seasons and its devoted queer fandom is devastated.
The seafaring comedy-drama series follows the ocean-spanning romance between Stede “Gentleman Pirate” Bonnet (Rhys Darby) and Ed “Blackbeard” Teach (Taika Waititi) as they traversed the waves on their ship Revenge.
The hit series amassed a mammoth fanbase over the years for its LGBTQ+ inclusion, from shipmate love confessions and found-family weddings to a riotous celebration of trans identity and drag culture.
The second season landed in October last year to mixed reviews as a reunited Ed and Stede hung up their sea captain hats to pursue an on-land romance as innkeepers. But the series finale also sparked outrage after tragically killing off fan-favourite character – grouchy second-in-command Izzy Hands (Con O’Neill).
Alas, the Revenge must now lower its sails as the show will not return for a third season, despite its immense popularity among LGBTQ+ viewers.
Blackbeard and Stede Bonnet kiss in Our Flag Means Death (HBO)
In an emotional Instagram post, creator David Jenkins paid tribute to his “bizarre, beautifully-rendered world” and mourned its “premature” end.
“We’ve sailed at the pleasure of the fine people at Max, and it brought them no joy to see this journey come to a premature end,” Jenkins said, thanking bosses at HBO Max for allowing them to make a “authentically weird and heartfelt” show.
He continued: “I’m very sad I won’t set foot on the Revenge again with my friends, some of whom have become close to family. But I couldn’t be more grateful for being allowed to captain the damn thing in the first place.
“Our Flag Means Us. Loving one another, pulling off some pretty weird and beautiful s**t, and talking it through… as a crew.”
A spokesperson for Max told The Hollywood Reporter that the studio is “so proud of the joyous, hilarious, and heartfelt stories that creator David Jenkins, Taika Waititi, Rhys Darby, Garrett Basch, Dan Halsted, Adam Stein, Antoine Douaihy, and the entire superb cast and crew brought to life.
“We also thank the dedicated fans who embraced these stories and built a gorgeous, inclusive community surrounding the show,” the spokesperson added.
Our Flag Means Death is the latest LGBTQ+ series to be cancelled over the past year, and fans have shared their utter despair at the news.
“Our Flag Means Death helped me be creative, it helped me find my voice, it brought me into a queer community for the first time in my life, and it introduced me to friends I hope to keep lifelong. I’m heartbroken, but OFMD helped me find me,” one fan wrote.
Another added: “Heartbroken about Our Flag Means Death being canceled that show means so much to me and a third and final season for it to tell the whole story would have been amazing. I’m glad [season two] doesn’t end on a cliffhanger but it deserved to end on its own term.”
Some fans have already started a campaign trying to save the show.
Our Flag Means Death season one and two are available to stream on Max.