HBO Max ballroom series Legendary axed to huge disappointment: ‘I am devastated’

A screengrab from HBO's Legendary showing its contestants dressed in their red outfits on stage and also standing to the side dressed in his purple outfit is actor and dancer Dashaun Wesley who is the MC in the show.(HBO Max)

HBO Max’s ballroom reality competition, Legendary, has been cancelled by the network after three seasons – to backlash from fans.

The series followed eight ballroom houses with each battling to win $100,000, and was hosted by MC Dashuan. The judges included Jameela Jamil, Megan Thee Stallion, Leiomy Maidonado, Law Roach and DJ MikeQ.

Legendary was cancelled after HBO Max announced its decision to stop producing new original unscripted shows.

Speaking about the cancellation, Jamil wrote on Instagram: “It was three amazing years with the most amazing crew, so many of whom were from the world of ballroom and our EXCEPTIONAL contestants, and our host of all hosts and our beloved judges.

“This show was so important and an honour to be a part of because everything beautiful in mainstream pop culture comes from the obscenely creative genius of Ballroom.”

Leiomy said she felt “broken” after the cancellation was confirmed, while fellow judge MikeQ added: “I was hoping this wasn’t going to be but I only think about all those moments and I’m so filled ! What an experience! Thank you!”

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The series, praised by GLAAD for its inclusivity, celebrated ballroom culture and many have criticised HBO for throwing queer communities of colour under the bus.

“Sad to see another incredible show that centres Black and other queer people of colour and their talents, stories and culture cancelled,” one person wrote.

“I’m heartbroken to hear that Legendary has been cancelled,” another said, “it has been a true gift to have a peek into the incredible world of ballroom.”

In particular, fans praised the show for its diversity when it came to trans and non-binary contestants and showcasing a variety of body sizes.

This move comes after HBO owner Warner Bros announced its merger with Discovery.

The merger has led to a swathe of other cancellations including FBoy Island and Los Espookys, and to the already-completed Batgirl movie being cancelled.