Yesterday was a hard day. It was heard to hear that Netflix had decided not to move forward with season 4 of One Day At A Time, and it was hard to see them blame it on ‘ratings’ when the company doesn’t release ratings information publicly, so we really don’t know what numbers the show pulled or what the threshold was.
It was hard to look back and realize that, despite how good this show was, despite how many important issues it tackled, the streaming giant never gave it a fair shot, never truly promoted it, hell, never placed it among the top shows or sent those cute little emails to remind you a new season was coming, or at least, it didn’t for most people.
But even harder than that was reading the company’s attempt at preempted justification, spouted in a series of tweets the Netflix US account put out as the news broke:
Thank you Norman Lear for bringing this series back to television. Thank you Gloria Calderon Kellett & Mike Royce for always making us laugh and never shying away from bravely and beautifully tackling tough subject matter in a meaningful way
— Netflix US (@netflix) March 14, 2019
And to anyone who felt seen or represented — possibly for the first time — by ODAAT, please don’t take this as an indication your story is not important. The outpouring of love for this show is a firm reminder to us that we must continue finding ways to tell these stories.
— Netflix US (@netflix) March 14, 2019
First, because, as you see, the blame is placed squarely on US. We didn’t watch. Netflix tried, it really and truly did, but we didn’t deliver. We, the consumer. We, the one that has no way how to find something on a library as large as Netflix’s unless THEY point us in the right direction. We, the ones who have been hyping the show on social media, and getting everyone we know into it. WE failed. They didn’t.
Second, because you don’t get to celebrate this show for always making us laugh and tackling tough subject matter in a beautiful way when you are very literally saying hey, guess what, that doesn’t matter. We don’t truly care enough about you doing that to allow you to continue to do it. We just want credit for recognizing how amazing you were as we cancel you.
And third, because it is the height of cruelty to pretend to acknowledge what One Day At A Time meant to the latinx community, to people like me who did feel seen and represented for the first time, as you make the cruel corporate decision of cancelling our story. Because that is indeed what you’re saying, Netflix. Don’t pretend otherwise.
You’re saying spending 100 million dollars to keep Friends on your service for a year is worth it. You’re saying throwing money at Adam Sandler to make horrible movies is worth it. You’re saying hey, we already put a lot of money into Roma, and there’s your representation, what do you expect, to continue giving you more of it when we could be making more money elsewhere?
And, of course, you’re saying this is a business, and we do not care about representation, we care about money, and we will only tell diverse stories when and IF it suits our interests. But allow us to continue to pretend we care with this fake woke thread.
I’m sorry, but I’m not here for that. I’m here to call bullshit, Netflix. I’m here to tell you that actions speak louder than words, and when your actions have spoken as loudly as they did yesterday, your words don’t matter. You should have kept them to yourself. We all see them for what they are, another attempt to gaslight a community you pretended to care about, but could only ever muster the enthusiasm to treat as a token.
We’re more than an incomplete story. We’re more than just a checkmark. We’re real people, with real stories, stories that One Day At A Time put out there for the world to see for three beautiful seasons.
So now, in the words of Elena Alvarez: “So whatever, dude, I’m moving on with my life. I’m gonna be fine. I’m just really bummed out for you. You’re going to miss a lot of stuff, and that sucks. Because I’m pretty great.”
One Day At A Time seasons 1-3 are available to stream on Netflix. Keep the conversation going as the show tries to find a new home by using the hashtag #SaveODAAT.