Honestly the CW is in many ways the embodiment of my issues with current attempts at “diversity” in the mainstream media when it comes to queer rep. I’m not going to sit here and say that television is still the same cis heterosexual landscape it was a few decades ago, there have been improvements, but movie studios and television networks alike are still really quick to pat themselves on the back for bare minimum efforts to provide meaningful representation while making sure they haven’t alienated their “core” audiences too much. The CW is imo one of the worst offenders of this - doing just enough to get noticed, but rarely anything of any real substance, and much less anything that would actually risk altering their key demographics.
On this network, “groundbreaking” queer pairings exist as side ships (i.e. Sanvers) or are axed when they become a threat to their real goals (i.e. Clexa). If you don’t think this is because the network doesn’t want to offend the type of viewer that would be scandalized by having to watch more than 5 minutes of non heterosexual interactions per episode, you’re much too naive. The CW doesn’t defy anything. The CW does JUST enough to get praise and then will course correct to the normal, and that’s partly because for some shows they prioritize catering to straight teenage girls that will throw a fit over not having m/f or m/m ships to salivate over, which is basically what’s happening with Sanvers and Karolsen in Supergirl. Healthy interracial relationship where the guy is actually pretty great? Nah, that needs to be axed so that your standard CW bad boy asshole can romance the female lead instead. WLW relationship with a coming out storyline? Good for diversity points, not worth doing much with really, priority must be on the patented CW bad boy asshole that they’re convinced teenage straight girls will swoon over. Supercorp? I love their chemistry, but not only do we know it’s never going to happen, it’s shameless queer baiting that they’re getting away with because they can use Sanvers as a shield to say that they’re not afraid of canon wlw romances (god forbid one of their shows has more than ONE wlw romance at a time though right?).
They don’t just care about straight teenage girls btw. The CW is making an active effort to reel in an older audience, and a more male audience too. This started with their first DC shows and is particularly the case for shows like, ahem, Kidz Bop Game of Thrones/Westworld/Terminator/Black Mirror (i.e. The 1OO). If the CW has to choose between providing meaningful representation to young queer audiences and retaining the older/male demographics they desperately want to court, BELIEVE ME, they will toss aside your rep no questions asked.
Hell, I’m pretty sure that’s what happened with Kidz Bop Grim Dark Shitty Sci Fi. I strongly suspect that Lexa getting killed off was in part because older male audiences wouldn’t have tolerated the continued presence of a non sexualized lesbian character that wasn’t there to tantalize them and/or be a moustache twirling villain. Even if Alycia hadn’t been cast as a main in F/TWD (which we always knew was a bullshit excuse to begin with), Lexa probably would have been killed off because her existence and role in the show were threatening not just the network’s vision of what they wanted their Kidz Bop For Adults HBO Rip Off to be, but who they wanted the main audience to be as well. This of course doesn’t even begin to touch the other characters/storylines that have been ruined probably for the sake of appeasing this audience, often with racist/sexist/xenophobic effects. They succeeded, BTW, the demo numbers for the show are higher in older demographics and their best ratings for episodes consistently come from male viewers. So brava CW, you finally have a product that can be 100% embraced by older male viewers that get off to gratuitous violence and shock value, with the added bonus that you managed to fool some other audiences into believing you were actually doing something daring or socially progressive.
The CW wants to have its cake and eat it too. They want to bask in the attention that comes from having any queer romance whatsoever while not doing anything truly groundbreaking with it. Because groundbreaking would upset their bread and butter as well as the new demographics they’re actually targeting. Groundbreaking would mean upsetting the status quo of the only audiences they truly care about.