‘Bridgerton’ author fights backlash against queer romance, gender swapping storyline

“Bridgerton” author Julia Quinn defended a gender swap that appeared in the recently released third season of the show last week after it drew complaints from fans. 

“Anyone who has seen an interview with me from the past four years knows that I am deeply committed to the Bridgerton world becoming more diverse and inclusive as the stories move from book to screen,” Quinn said in an Instagram post. 

“Bridgerton” is a Regency-era show focusing around members of the Bridgerton family and their love stories, with each season highlighting a different member of the clan. The book-based television series included a major change in the third season of the show, the bestselling romance novelist explained as she addressed disappointment from fans.


The show gender-swapped a love interest for the popular character Francesca Bridgerton.

“But switching the gender of a major character is a huge change, and so when [showrunner] Jess Brownell first approached me with the idea of turning Michael into Michaela for the show, I needed more information before conferring my agreement,” Quinn said.

The author explained further that she trusted the vision for “Bridgerton,” but wanted to ensure that any changes were consistent with the “spirit of the book and of the characters.”

Ted Sarandos and Shonda Rhimes

“Jess and I talked for a long time about it. I made it clear that it was extremely important to me that Francesca’s abiding love for John be shown on screen,” Quinn said, referencing Francesca’s first husband in the series.


Fans swarmed the comment section, blasting the change to the fan favorite character, with many outraged that they may not see one of Francesca’s moving story lines, in which she struggles with infertility, played out onscreen.

“I am done with Bridgerton after this season,” Vanessa Claudio, a model and public relations professional for FZ management, wrote in the comment section of Quinn’s Instagram post.

“I hate the most recent change as well in Bridgerton because I wanted to see Francesca dealing with loss, miscarriage, infertility, and finding love (and babies) with Micheal again. But the change lies at the feet of Jess Brownell, not Julia Quinn,” author Keri Arthur posted on X.

“‘Fertile ground’ when discussing w/o acknowledging scrapping a storyline that focuses on infertility struggles and means so much to many? @netflix @bridgerton do better PLEASE. Those of us with infertility constantly deal with hurtful, unthoughtful language like this—it’s not ok,” Kristin McCall wrote on X.

Brownwell, a new showrunner starting with season 3, previously said the show would include LGBTQ representation.


“I think this is a show about the many ways in which people love,” Brownell told Refinery 29. “So it only feels right to show all the ways in which people love, including queer love. So we are exploring queer love stories across the next couple of seasons.”

Fox News Digital has reached out to Netflix for comment.

Ashlynn Messier contributed to this report.

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