Grand Army did not win the battle to stay alive on Netflix. The streaming giant canceled the teen drama on Thursday after just one season. The series followed students at Grand Army High School in Brooklyn, New York, and was loosely based on creator Katie Cappiello's Slut: The Play.
Although the show earned mostly positive reviews after it debuted in October 2020, Netflix decided against ordering a second season, Variety reports. The series focused on five students and touched on serious topics, including racism, sexual identity, bullying, violence, terrorism, and rape culture. The main cast included Odessa A'zion as Joey Del Marco; Odley Jean as Dom Pierre; Amir Bagera as Sid Pakam; Maliq Johnson as Jayson Jackson; and Amalia Yoo as Leila Kwan Zimmer. Cappiello was an executive producer, alongside Joshua Donen, Beau Willimon, Jordan Tappis, Nicolette Donen, and Elizabeth Kling.
Cappiello sought to create a teen drama that was more realistic than a show like Riverdale. "Katie is really big on making it as authentic as possible," Johnson told TVLine in October. “If there was a scenario where we felt like things would have gone differently for us in our own lives, she was very open to letting us tell her that. And if there was a way she could do it, she would put it in the show."
Grand Army did face a behind-the-scenes controversy. In September, when the first trailer was released, playwright Ming Peiffer tweeted that she and two other writers of color quit the show due to "racist exploitation and abuse." Peiffer continued, "The showrunner and creator went full Karen and called Netflix [her] on the Black writer in the room for getting a haircut. Yes, you read that correctly. Who wants to interview us?"
In a follow-up tweet, Peiffer said her first allegation was just the tip of the iceberg. "I’m sickened they chose this wording for the tweet and are whoring around the American flag in the trailer as though anything about this project was united," she wrote.
Johnson responded to the allegations in a Digital Spy interview. "I've known Katie since I was 14 years old. When the allegations came out, I guess I wasn't really worried because I know her so well and I couldn't imagine Katie carrying herself in that kind of way," he said. "I have never experienced anything like that with her so I wouldn't be able to speak to that." Netflix and Cappiello did not comment on the allegations.