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'Looking' Director Believes 'Fear' Prompted Gay HBO Show's Demise

“It is frustrating when you create characters, whose stories you are trying to tell, and you come up against all of this anger and hatred.”

Andrew Haigh is still on the mend after the cancellation of HBO's “Looking,” and he isn't holding back in his disappointment. 

Haigh, who served as co-producer and wrote and directed several episodes of the prematurely nixed series, told Attitude magazine’s Ben Kelly that he believes gay audiences pre-judged the show -- which starred Jonathan Groff, Frankie J. Alvarez and Murray Bartlett as three out pals navigating love and life in present-day San Francisco -- before allowing it to establish its footing. 

“A lot of people seemed to talk about it without actually watching it,” he said in the interview. “So many people said, ‘I didn’t watch your show, I didn’t like it,’ but they’d admit they barely watched the pilot.”

Best known for the 2011 sleeper hit, “Weekend,” Haigh believes much of the gay backlash against “Looking” stemmed from “a fear where we want representation in the world, but only of the best of us.”

“For years, I wanted to see myself represented on screen,” he said. “But it is frustrating when you create characters, whose stories you are trying to tell, and you come up against all of this anger and hatred.”

He was tight-lipped on the planned movie special that will conclude the series, but called it a “nice way for us to bring the stories to a kind of semi-conclusion and wrap some things up.” 

Haigh isn't the only one bummed by the cancellation of “Looking,” which received solid reviews from critics but struggled to find an audience. Series creator Michael Lannan told The Advocate this month that he was “heartbroken” by the news, noting, “It really hurt when we found out we weren't going forward because we had figured out what the show really was.”

Currently starring in the smash Broadway musical, “Hamilton,” Groff offered similar sentiments in an interview with FourTwoNine magazine last month. 

“For me, the sadness was more based on our having found our stride in the second season and expanded our world,” Groff said. 

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