Misha Green is taking responsibility for what she believes is one of the biggest failures of “Lovecraft Country” so far: the storyline of the Indigenous Two-Spirit character Yahima (Monique Candalaria). The “Lovecraft Country” showrunner took to social media this week after the airing of the first season’s penultimate episode to admit she failed the character by killing them off shortly after introducing them.
“I wanted to show the uncomfortable truth that oppressed folks can also be oppressors,” Green wrote in response to a fan asking her about the portrayal of Yahima. “But I didn’t examine or unpack the moment/portrayal of Yahima as thoroughly as I should have. It’s a story point worth making, but I failed in the way I chose to make it.”
Yahima debuted in the series’ fourth episode, “A History of Violence.” The character is an Arawak Two-Spirit that Tic (Jonathan Majors), Leti (Jurnee Smollett), and Montrose (Michael K. Williams) free from imprisonment during their adventure inside the Braithwhite tomb. Yahima tells the group she helped Titus Braithwhite translate symbols in the Book of Names before he murdered their family and imprisoned her. Tic and the gang rescue Yahima from the tomb and bring her back to Chicago, but Montrose murders Yahima to prevent them from revealing more information about the Book of Names. The character is introduced and killed all within the series’ fourth episode.
While no one would fault “Lovecraft Country” for its lack of inclusion, Green admits her show could have done better when it came to Yahima’s storyline. Indigenous characters in lead or supporting roles are rare on television and in film, and Two-Spirit characters are all but nonexistent. The Yahima storyline aimed to depict how an oppressed Black gay character like Montrose can still act as an oppressor, but it came at the expense of cutting short a marginalized character.
“Lovecraft Country” airs its season finale Sunday at 9pm ET. HBO
I wanted to show the uncomfortable truth that oppressed folks can also be oppressors. But I didn’t examine or unpack the moment/portrayal of Yahima as thoroughly as I should have. It’s a story point worth making, but I failed in the way I chose to make it. #LovecraftCountry https://t.co/bDRGOfPClo
— Misha Green (@MishaGreen) October 12, 2020