The fight to save “The OA” intensified this week after a digital billboard went live in New York City’s Times Square urging Netflix to renew the science-fiction drama series for a Season 3. The show, created by indie favorites Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij, was canceled by Netflix on August 5 after two ambitious seasons that divided critics but earned a passionate cult following. Since the axe dropped on the show, diehard “OA” fans have rallied together to save the series and convince Netflix to reconsider a third season. “The OA” Season 2 ended on a meta cliffhanger that promised a bonkers Season 3, which is only adding to fan demand for more episodes.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, “OA” superfan organizer Ryan Lulofs launched a GoFundMe campaign on August 11 to raise money for a Times Square billboard that would campaign to save the series. The campaign started with a goal of $3,500, a number it hit on its first day. “The OA” fans eventually raised $5,500 for the billboard and would have probably raised even more had Lulofs continued accepting donations. The billboard launched Monday, August 26 in Times Square and features fan art by Magicelum and animation by a team of “OA” fans from countries such as the Czech Republic and Brazil.
“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,” fan Mandy Paris told the Times. “We want to be clear that we’re willing to do whatever it takes — including crowdfunding for proper marketing — to save the series.”
A similar billboard campaign was used by fans of the DC Extended Universe earlier this year. Fans of the Warner Bros.-backed superhero movie universe raised over $20,000 to campaign at Comic-Con for the release of Zack Snyder’s cut of “Justice League.” Part of the money raised was donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
“The OA” billboard is far from the only tactic fans have used to get Netflix to bring the series back for a third season. IndieWire’s Ryan Lattanzio spoke last week to Emperial Young, a fan who has been on a hunger strike since August 16 because of Netflix’s cancellation of “The OA.” Young champions the series because “it deals with so many important issues, trauma and grief and mental health. It’s also this relentlessly creative, amazing experience, and the storytelling is just incredible.”
Paris shared similar sentiments with the Times, saying, “The existence of disabled and mentally ill characters, of LGBTQIA characters and characters of color, is really quite groundbreaking in its portrayal of these groups. There have been YouTube videos that discuss how the show helps people with PTSD, depression, bipolar disorder and other disorders, making people feel seen and understood.”
In addition to the billboard and the hunger strike, “OA” fans have launched a green initiative entitled #GreenOA where they clean up local parks and highways. Fans are also raising money for the anti-human trafficking nonprofit A21 and staged a flash mob near the Time’s Square billboard that recreated the show’s infamous dancing sequences.
Both seasons of “The OA” are now streaming on Netflix.