Fans of cancelled Netflix series 'The OA' hire Times Square billboard to plead for show's renewal

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Brit Marling in The OA (Credit: Netflix)

Fans of Netflix sci-fi-fantasy-drama The OA really aren't taking the cancellation of the show lying down.

A hardcore group of enthusiasts have clubbed together $5000 via a GoFundMe campaign to buy space on a digital billboard in New York's Times Square to appeal to the streaming service directly.

Read more: Netflix axe The OA

The billboard displayed the slogan 'We will not give up on you', and featured the hashtag #SaveTheOA, along with a picture of Brit Marling, the show's writer, star and creator, in her role as Prairie Johnson.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the billboard also featured animation from a team of OA fans based in various countries from Brazil to the Czech Republic.

Superfan Ryan Lulofs was behind the fundraiser, which was initially seeking $3,500, but reached $5000 in donations before the crowdfund was wound up.

Another fan Mandy Paris told the LA Times: “The concept for the billboard was to use fan art to advertise for the series, because Netflix expected word-of-mouth alone to be enough marketing.

“We want to be clear that we’re willing to do whatever it takes — including crowdfunding for proper marketing — to save the series.”

Read more: Jason Isaacs teases ‘5 seasons’ of The OA

The show, created by Marling and fellow writer Zal Batmanglij, and produced by Brad Pitt's production company Plan B, aired its first series in 2016, with Marling playing a woman who returns to her hometown having gone missing seven years previously.

The story of what happened to her slowly unfolds, involving kidnapping, strange experiments, alternate dimensions, Jason Isaacs and weird dance moves.

Fans appear to have formed a flashmob in Times Square to perform the “movements” in front of the billboard.

A second series aired in 2017, but despite leaving the plot with a cliffhanger, Netflix announced it was ending the show at the beginning of August, scrapping plans for a third series.

The billboard is perhaps the least radical action being taken by fans of the show, however.

It emerged on Monday that one fan protesting outside Netflix's HQ in Los Angeles claims that she hasn't eaten since August 16, and plans to hunger strike until the show is reinstated.

Unemployed Emperial Young, 35, told Insider: “Entertainment is food for the human soul and Netflix’s algorithm isn’t measuring that right now.

“And by not taking physical food, I’m saying that this show is more important food to me than actual food.”

She added in a message on Twitter: “While it looks like I’m protesting a TV cancellation on the surface, I am protesting the capitalist forces that killed the show, general lack of societal support resources, and to raise awareness about properly teaching AI.”

Another group of fans staged a flashmob gathering near the campaign billboard in Times Square, performing one of the show's dance sequences, while a petition to Netflix quickly gained 80,000 signatures.