You just can’t mess with Bridgerton‘s success. Breakout star Nicola Coughlan, who plays Penelope Featherington, went on social media January 5 to shade haters who took issue with the Netflix show’s diverse cast. Her ammunition? The fact the series has reached 63 million households and is Netflix’s fifth-biggest launch of an original series ever.
“You know the way some people were like ‘Diversity in period drama doesn’t work’….63 million households thought it did tho so,” Coughlan tweeted, adding a skull emoji just to punctuate the point.
Unfortunately, it’s common for trolls and spammers to try and tank the online ratings of any project they find too “woke.” (Remember when the 2016 Ghostbusters trailer received the most downvotes in YouTube history? Pure misogyny.) Apparently the same thing happened to Bridgerton—but it didn’t work, as Coughlan pointed out. “Remember people were trying to downvote the show on IMDB cos it was so diverse?” she wrote in a second tweet. “You can’t downvote us being Netflix fifth biggest original release ever.”
Coughlan also pointed out that the IMDb tampering didn’t even work. The show is top-ranked, trolls be damned.
Like most Shonda Rhimes–produced shows, Bridgerton‘s diversity is baked in and isn’t explicitly acknowledged. The queen in this story is a Black woman (Golda Rosheuvel), and we learn in one episode that because of her marriage into the royal family, Black families have gained acceptance into high society. Aside from that, race goes mostly unremarked on the show and isn’t a factor at all in the Julia Quinn novels on which the series is based.
So Nicola Coughlan is onto you, haters, and won’t let your trolling diminish Bridgerton‘s success. The show is a bona fide hit—and we can’t wait to see more.