Ex-Superman & Lois Writer: "I Can't Say I Felt Heard"; Fisher/JL Case

In November 2020, ex-Superman & Lois writer Nadria Tucker (Krypton, Underground) took to social media to let fans know that she was let go from the writing room for the Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch-starring series. Tucker described a working environment in which she found herself "flagging #metoo jokes," "defending the Bechdel test" to guarantee proper female representation in storylines, and "fighting to ensure the only Black faces on screen aren't villains"- with a direct critique of series showrunner Todd Helbing's leadership abilities and skills when it came to dealing with others in the creative process with respect. Flash ahead to February 2021 with the series finally taking flight, and with Tucker offering additional personal behind-the-scenes perspectives on her time on the series.

superman & lois
Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

In the following Twitter thread, Tucker offers some backstory on how things were in the Superman & Lois writers' room leading into the pilot while implying that much of what works in the pilot may not be maintained as the season rolls on- including casting that "wasn't diverse" and Lois not "getting much story" (quoted text is directly from tweets).

"The pilot for this series was already written when the rest of the writers were hired. I was one of the first people brought on"

"I used to work in journalism and I worked on Krypton so I had some relevant experience. I hoped to tell some really cool Lois stories since the character has always been a favorite of mine"

"We had lots of discussions in the early days about mental illness and how to depict it in the show. We talked about race too. We talked about gender and sexuality. We pitched so much "blue sky" stuff — all ideas generated by what was there in this pilot"

"Those early days were fun! We were actually meeting in person back then, before the pandemic. I had a plant in my office! The sky was the limit!"

"But then reality started to set in. Casting wasn't diverse. Lois wasn't getting much story. So I raised these issues. This is part of the job"

"I can't say I felt heard. Todd Helbing told me we'd have to ship Black people in cause there aren't many in Canada"

"Lois journalism stories were frequently deemed "boring" because they lacked superpowers I guess?"

After a tweet noting that Tucker's DVR had "caught up to reality," the thread ended with, "Anyway the pilot hasn't changed much since the last time I read it. I'm sure the rest of the series will be more of the same." Tucker then followed that tweet by acknowledging the work of others who remained with the series, tweeting, "To clarify, I wasn't the only POC or femme writer on Superman and Lois. Whatever amount of representation you see on screen are hard fought wins from some very talented people despite everything else." Tucker also pushed back on the argument that there should be "receipts" when someone makes public accusations, confirming that she was also involved in the Ray Fisher/WarnerMedia investigation: "HR saw my receipts. The JL investigation saw my receipts. They have already chosen how to respond. Now I'm responding to their lack of response. I owe this hellsite nothing."

Ex-Superman & Lois Writer: "I Can't Say I Felt Heard"; Fisher/JL Case
Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Here's a look at what Tucker had to say about the news that she was not being brought back to The CW series' writing team in November of last year: "Some personal news: Wednesday I got word that my contract on Superman and Lois won't be extended, my services no longer needed, my outline and draft subpar (obviously I disagree with that last bit lol). This, after months of me flagging #metoo jokes in dialogue of me defending the Bechdel test, of me FIGHTING to ensure the only Black faces on screen aren't villains, of me pitching stories for female characters (there's one in the title of the series!) that went ignored," Tucker wrote in the thread. "If I sound bitter, it's because this one stings. I've been assured by colleagues that I was great in the room, so I know I'm not nuts. I debated whether to post this but my own mental wellbeing demands that I do. The only way shit changes is to expose it."

About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.