Disney caused some controversy by removing scores of shows from Disney+ earlier this year. Now, the star of the much-anticipated Willow is calling them out on this tactic and how insulting it is to fans of these shows.
It’s no secret Disney has had some issues with Disney+ as, despite some major MCU and Star Wars shows, they’re still fighting for subscribers. Earlier in 2023, Disney made a very controversial decision to remove several of their original series from Disney+. They included Big Shot, The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, and more. They also removed several Hulu original series, such as Dollface, Future Man, Marvel’s Runaways, Y: The Last Man, and others.
The reason? By removing these shows, Disney could save money by not having to pay residuals and other fees to the actors and production companies. Disney isn’t alone, as other streamers such as Paramount+ and HBO Max likewise cut shows from their services.
One of the biggest dumped series was Willow, the long-awaited follow-up to Ron Howard’s 1988 cult fantasy film. Warwick Davis reprised his role as Willow Ufgood, the would-be wizard who saved a young princess. The sequel series has Willow uniting with a pack of adventurers on a quest to save their kingdom.
Despite mixed reviews, the show’s producers were hopeful for more seasons as the first season ended with the hint it was “Volume 1” of three installments. However, Disney appeared to cancel the series even if the showrunners hinted they could find a way to shop it around.
But Willow was among the series cut from the streamer with almost no warning in May. Creator Joe Kasdan put a spin on it, trying to be positive that the show may live on elsewhere.
“I grew up at a time when Disney movies were periodically re-released and not available to own, and it made them… more special. I worry about many things but NONE of them are that Willow will never be available again, either on DisneyPlus or perhaps… someplace else, & ya never know where that could lead… stranger things have happened. So grateful for all the love and enthusiasm; it’s truly what keeps these worlds alive.”
However, speaking on Twitter/X over the weekend, Davis made it clear he was not happy about Disney making it impossible to watch the show.
“I meet lovely people on a daily basis who are fans of #Willow, who are the reason the @DisneyPlus series was made. Please tell me @WaltDisneyCo, what do I say to these subscribers when they ask why they can’t watch the series anymore? #embarrassing”
Davis’ words do echo the feelings of many viewers as canceling the show so quickly was one thing. Completely removing it from the streamer six months after it debuted is another. It points to the issues viewers have with streamers and why physical media still maintains some popularity.
It’s up in the air if Davis’ words lead to enough of a backlash for Disney+ to restore Willow to the steamer. However, it shows quite a few people are upset about Disney cutting so many shows just to save a few dollars.