‘The Vampire Diaries’ Fans Are Still Disappointed With Bonnie Bennett’s Storylines

Bonnie Bennett remains a fan favorite on The Vampire Diaries. Played by the versatile Kat Graham for eight seasons, Bonnie is a powerful witch on the show. Despite Graham’s smaller role than stars Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley, and Nina Dobrev, the series’ fans still remember Bonnie as a strong yet highly underused character.

Some fans and critics believe certain showrunners were racist. That might lend some context as to why Bonnie’s character never received the same depth as the Salvatore brothers and their love triangle with Elena. 

Bonnie experienced racism as a character, ‘The Vampire Diaries’ viewers say

The Vampire Diaries Bonnie Bennett Kat Graham
Kat Graham during the 2022 Cannes Film Festival | Arnold Jerocki/GC Images

Fans have taken to Reddit to voice their opinions about how The Vampire Diaries showrunners treated Bonnie as a character in her eight-year run from 2009 to 2017. 

First, there were her origins in Mystic Falls. Her ancestor, Emily Bennett (played by Bianca Lawson at first and Kat Graham in later episodes) was a handmaiden for Katherine Pierce in 1864 Mystic Falls. Although born in Massachusetts, Emily was powerful yet shown in a subservient role that Blacks had during that period in Virginia, some fans pointed out.

Still, fans complained Bonnie was always relegated to the “best friend” role and stepped in only when others needed assistance.

“The racism against Bonnie is 100% true,” one Reddit user wrote. “I love and adore Kat Graham, and they did her so dirty on the show. With all the times we had sit through Caroline singing, but not Bonnie. Bonnie was shoved to the back until they needed her witch skills to survive, and then she’s immediately shoved out of the way again.

“Her and Damon really becoming friends was so sweet, and I LOVED that storyline, and then it seemed like it was kinda just dropped? It really pissed me off. I thought we’d see more of Bonnie as a person, not just a tool to survive.”

What about Bonnie’s relationships?

Then there were Bonnie’s romances.

“Bonnie was done soo dirty for love interests,” one Redditor said. “I know Enzo treated her well, but I couldn’t help but feel the writers were just giving her Care’s seconds … like they clearly didn’t intend for him to be Bonnie’s when they first wrote him in as a Klaus replacement to be obsessed with Caroline.”

Of course, her one true love was Elena’s younger brother, Jeremy Gilbert. Then the writers found an elaborate way for them not to be together by seemingly killing Bonnie, leaving Jeremy to turn to alcohol to drown his sorrows. But Bonnie came back to life, only to tell Jeremy to forget about her because they could never be together. 

Then there was the time she saved Matt in season 5. He became the sheriff of Mystic Falls in Legacies. But, alas, Bonnie was not there protecting the town.

Why so little screen time for Bonnie Bennett in ‘The Vampire Diaries’?

One fan on Reddit noted that Bonnie might have had less screen time because of Kat Graham’s schedule.

“Bonnie, I know a lot of people in the Fandom point out [The Vampire Diaries co-showrunner Julie Plec’s] racism. Maybe it’s real, maybe it’s not, but what many don’t realize is the racism of the network. The CW urged Julie and Kevin [Williamson] to kill Kat Graham off the show many times, and each time they were like, no, not gonna happen, and the reason [I found out] that Kat was absent from some storylines was because she was either touring or making a film.”

What did Kat Graham say about her time on ‘The Vampire Diaries’?

Kat Graham responded to the possibility of racism on the set of The Vampire Diaries

“I will say that I was fortunate in a lot of ways because if I ever felt anything — at the time Mark Pedowitz, who is still the president of The CW, who’s also Jewish, he was a really great ear for me,” Graham told ET in November 2020.

Graham’s measured response doesn’t mean there weren’t issues with racism behind the scenes on The Vampire Diaries

In a separate Reddit thread, a fan posted a screengrab of a tweet from co-showrunner Julie Plec that she then deleted. 

“I believe Black women are going to save us all and I am so sorry to put that pressure on you, but white women are continually failing all of us,” Plec wrote. “I hope you understand that me seeing you as a hero is not meant to add to your anxiety — rather, it’s to lift you up and celebrate you.”

Plec’s latest show is Vampire Academy, based on a book series of the same name. It stars Sisi Stringer, Daniela Nieves, Kieron Moore, and André Dae Kim. It will begin streaming on Peacock in September.

RELATED: ‘Vampire Academy’: Meet the Cast Re-Vamping the 2014 Movie and YA Book Series