Buffy the Vampire Slayer was groundbreaking for being one of the first shows to have a lead character (Willow, portrayed by Alyson Hannigan) come out as a lesbian, then end up in a relationship with another woman (Tara, portrayed by Amber Benson). It’s also infamous for killing off Tara by way of a stray bullet, a narrative excuse used later in the show The 100 to kill off another lesbian character, which is examined at length in the documentary Queering the Script (about queer female fandom), which screened at Los Angeles's LGBTQ film festival Outfest this past weekend.
The death aside, Willow and Tara’s loving relationship has become iconic in the bisexual/lesbian community, with many young women considering the show their gay awakening. The Buffy fan base continues to be passionate, and actress-author Amber Benson not only recognizes the fandom but embraces it as a proud ally of the LGBTQ+ community.
Benson, who is currently developing her own novels for the screen, spoke briefly about her enthusiasm and support for the Buffy reboot: “I’m excited! We have a woman of color who’s going to show-run, and I think that’s really important, and she’s a fan. She watched the show, and it was important to her, and I think because Joss [Wheedon] is involved … [it’ll be good]. She comes from loving the show. And I love the idea that we’re going to have a very diverse group of people, that the Buffy character ... is going to be a woman of color -- I’m pro! I’m pro the reboot.”
Benson also spoke about the importance of representation and diversity in stories during a Q&A panel after the screening of Queering the Script.