Hailee Steinfeld Stresses Importance of Equality and Visibility After Peabody Win for 'Dickinson'
By Stacy Lambe
John Lamparski/Getty Images
Dickinson, the coming-of-age Apple TV+ series about poet and queer icon Emily Dickinson, earned a Peabody Award for Entertainment in 2019. It was one of 10 series, including Watchmen, recognized this year, and star and executive producer Hailee Steinfeld, who stresses the importance of its message about equality in an acceptance speech posted to Twitter, couldn’t be prouder of its achievement.
"I am so proud to be part of a show that is about such an important woman in history who was way ahead of her time,” she says. “I’m even more proud to be part of a show that is about fighting for what you believe is right, a show that is about seeing and being seen and understood, and a show that is about seeing everyone as equal.”
Debuting in November 2019, the series mixed elements of a literary period drama, teen dramedy, and romantic comedy to create its own unique blend of storytelling. It also didn’t shy away from Dickinson’s sexuality, letting the aspiring poet explore her complicated and romantic feelings for best friend Sue Gilbert (Ella Hunt).
“At the end of the day, we’re all human no matter what gender we identify as, the color of our skin, who we choose to love,” Steinfeld says. “This message of equality and fighting for what we believe is right is so incredibly important right now more than ever as our country continues to fight injustice, inequality and racism.”
The actress continues by stressing the importance of visibility amid the ongoing protests against police brutality and racism. “In this fight, I believe we must continue to shine a light and celebrate the stories of those who are marginalized and oppressed because by doing so we’re forced to think critically about how far we’ve come but how far we still have to go,” she says. “Their stories matter and it’s so important that we continue to shine a light on these stories and fight for equality.”
Following the critical success of season one, Apple TV+ confirms the series is set to return with season two later this year. While the coronavirus pandemic has temporarily shut down film and TV productions, Steinfeld tells ET that Dickinson “finished a few months prior” to the outbreak and that “everything’s on track.”
The actress also says when the series returns, time will have passed and will introduce some new characters, including Pico Alexander as Henry “Ship” Shipley, an Amherst College dropout who boards with the Dickinson family, and Finn Jones as newspaper editor Samuel Bowles, to its “amazing cast.”
“We just went in on season two,” Steinfeld says, teasing that the new season is “pretty wild. There’s a lot of twists and turns. There’s a lot of unexpected [moments]... I’m excited to see it all come together myself.”