Netflix has become infamous for the way it has been systematically cancelling its original series in the last year. However, not everyone is taking the culling sitting down: in fact, in the case of one canceled series, fans are mounting a pretty significant resistance!
News that Netflix canceled The OA sparked a massive outcry from fans, and that outcry has now been mobilized into a full-on protest. ComicBook.com was contacted by the organizers of this Grassroots effort to save The OA, and they've provided the following information below, in addition to the video of their protest efforts, which you can watch above.
"Fans Create Grassroots Effort to #SavetheOA
Thousands collaborate to purchase billboards, picket Netflix HQ, send flowers, and more in an effort to save The OA
[Written by Emily Trimnal, Edited by Jana Fuhrmann]
August 22 2019- Over 70,000 fans turned activists are passionately fighting to save groundbreaking, original show The OA. Fans have created a unique grassroots effort to bring the show back after news of the cancellation on August 5th, 2019. Created by Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij, The OA is a hit Netflix original series that has built its own mythos as no sci-fi show has ever done before, resulting in awakening the inner selves of millions of viewers worldwide. Many members of The OA community are now devastated over the abrupt cancellation after only airing two of the intended five seasons.
The OA first dropped on the popular streaming service in 2016 without preamble or marketing, primarily relying on word of mouth. The highly anticipated second season arrived almost two and a half years later on 3/22/19, with a mind bending meta cliffhanger ending that left viewers craving more. Almost immediately following the cancellation announcement, individual supporters flocked to social media to express their displeasure at the cancellation of the show, and thus #SavetheOA movement was born; a unique grassroots effort that has thousands of viewers springing into action.
Unlike other fan campaign efforts to bring back cancelled shows, fans of the OA have taken a multifaceted approach to reach Netflix and express their desire to see a conclusion to this cinematic work of art. OA devotees quickly formed an action plan to revive the show. Starting out with simple social media campaigning a petition to Netflix quickly amassed almost 100,000 signatures and continues to grow. #SavetheOA was trending on Twitter, and on a daily basis fans of the show have taken to Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, and Instagram to voice their desire to know how the intricate story of The OA ends.
There has been a continuous picket outside of the Netflix offices on Sunset Boulevard, started by one dedicated local activist. A gathering of Southern California residents from #SaveTheOA demonstrated, live streamed and camped outside of the Netflix offices on Sunset Blvd and Van Ness on 8/21.
According to an interview with VP of Original Programming Cindy Holland, The OA was pitched by Marling and Batmanglij as a 5 season story arc. Determined to see the story through, the campaign has continued to ramp up their efforts to be seen by Netflix. A GoFundMe by Ryan Lulofs raised over $5,500 with the goal of purchasing advertisements in New York City’s Times Square. The original goal of the GoFundMe was $3500, which was met in 12 hours and exceeded in 24. A team of graphic artists donated their time and resources to craft a 15 second video ad. It will run multiple times an hour between 12pm and 12am for 7 days beginning 8/26. The advertisement is comprised of original artwork using iconic imagery from the show. It will appear on two screens located on the Chase Building on the corner of 42nd and 7th Avenue in NYC.
Flashmobs & Flowers
To kick off the Times Square advertisement launch, a flashmob of the five movements from the show will take place 8/26 in NYC at 5 pm EST at the NYC Netflix offices. Following that, there will be another flashmob at 6pm EST at the billboards in Times Square. The five movements were choreographed by Ryan Heffington and are an integral part of The OA’s plot. Hundreds of fans have posted videos of themselves performing the movements (despite disabilities and chronic health issues) to demonstrate their passion for the transformative story. In the meantime, fans have been sending heartfelt, handwritten letters to Netflix executives, as well as floral arrangements. Lopez Flowers graciously gave fans a discount on delivery services and OA supporters were able to place orders for select flowers highlighted in The OA season 2. Close to 400 flowers were delivered to Netflix offices on Sunset Boulevard on 8/22.
One of the many heartfelt messages of The OA is to work together and care for one another. This has inspired many involved in the #SaveTheOA Campaign to want to give back in some way through an effort called #GiveOA. The A21 Campaign, a global, not-for-profit organization committed to ending human trafficking will be receiving $360 from the #SaveTheOA. A21 operates in 14 countries globally, with US offices in both California and North Carolina. #SaveTheOA announced the donation on 8/23, and encouraged fans of the OA to donate to a charity with a cause that is inspired by The OA.
The OA is a show about interdimensional travel. Therefore, the week of 8/18, fans are encouraged to clean our dimension. Devotees will clean up this dimension by participating in efforts to beautify their local parks, highways, or neighborhoods. Picking a spot that needs help, viewers are taking before and after photos of their green efforts and then sharing them on social media 8/25 with the hashtag #GreenOA
More Than Just A Show
While to some The OA may just be another tried and failed Netflix original, it holds deeper meaning to its passionate viewers. Since the cancellation, fans from all over the world have been expressing how the show has influenced their lives for the better. Viewers are sharing deeply personal stories of how the show has helped families through grief, individuals through depression/suicidal thoughts, given people hope in times of isolation, and has spread a message of diversity; collaboration; belief in the impossible; and faith that any of us can come through the darkest situations stronger and more powerful than before.
“Save The OA is not just a campaign to save our favorite show,” one fan says. “We want to make an overall statement that the art of original storytelling must be preserved.”
If you want to learn more or help fight to #SavetheOA visit watchtheoa.com to get involved."
Timeline of Events:
8/5- Cancellation announcement
8/6- Change.org petition started to #RenewtheOA
8/11- Ryan Lulofs created GoFundMe for billboard. Goal is met that day and then exceeded
8/12- Digital Flashmob
8/13- #TheOAisReal trended worldwide
8/18-8/25 Clean up our dimension #GreenOA lasting until August 25th
8/20- Letter writing campaign to Netflix began
8/21- Picketing outside Netflix offices on Sunset in Los Angeles; livestreamed via YouTube
8/22- Flower delivery to Netflix, #FlowersforOA twitter campaign
8/23- Charitable donation to A21 Campaign announced #GiveOA
8/26- Digital advertisements on NYC billboards in Times Square go live; Flashmob of the 5 movements near billboards
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.