Chances are that if you watch TV or movies, you’ve had something canceled on you. A show that has been going on for a couple of seasons, has a huge fan base, and the views to back it can be gone in an instant. The same thing goes for movies. A highly anticipated movie with decades of history behind it could disappear in the blink of an eye for a tax break. And it’s getting to the point where I don’t know what Hollywood wants from me anymore.
Personally, I don’t know if Hollywood wants me to watch its shows. Because they green light shows based on already established fandoms or book series, barely promote them, and then cancel them with no explanation. You would think that if they grabbed something up in the book or comic world, they know it has potential because of its popularity already. But it doesn’t work like that at the end of the day. If Shadow and Bone’s cancellation is any indication, it doesn’t work like that. And this is coming from someone who liked Shadow and Bone but didn’t love it but appreciated the diversity, representation, and queer characters.
And to me, these constant cancellations make me feel like Hollywood in general is not confident in anything that they put out there. And if they’re not confident in it, then why should I be confident in Hollywood? Why should I give them my money? Why should I give them my time? Why should I applaud them when they give us representation to only snatch it away? And why do they think that we are going to accept their bullshit reasons as to why a show is canceled in the small instance they even say anything to begin with.
With Shadow and Bone, Hollywood is blaming the SAG-AFTRA strike. And that’s just not going to fly. SAG was fighting for fair contracts in a system that is rigged against them. And from what I have gathered from others online, they don’t believe that it was strike’s fault that this show was canceled. This show was canceled because it was costing too much money. It was costing too much money for Netflix. And they weren’t seeing the return in numbers that they wanted. It would help if the show was advertised more or given any love besides Tudum.
From where I’m standing, Hollywood wants us to rally around specific projects and hype them up ourselves. They want us to give them the views and all the tweets that are born from a dedicated fandom. But even then, I’m looking at you Warrior Nun fandom, Hollywood ignores that as well and cancels those shows as well. And I understand that Warrior Nun has the added connotations of it being a queer show in a Hollywood system that doesn’t want to truly invest in the LGBTQ+ community unless it lines their pockets. But it leaves us aka the viewer, totally lost on what makes a show worthy of renewing.
This is the show side of everything when it comes to Hollywood. Movies are a completely different beast but just as frustrating. Batgirl was shelved by the WB and written off as a tax break. A project that was worth millions and had people put their sweat, blood, and tears into it, just disappeared in the blink of an eye. No one will see Leslie Grace as Batgirl and no one will see Brendan Fraser taking his turn at being the bad guy. And if an established character like Batgirl, who is world-renowned in comics, cartoons, and general pop culture, what chances do other movies have?
So again, I would like to know what Hollywood wants from us? Do you want us to come out in droves and watch The Marvels for you to just discontinue their story because it didn’t make that extra million? And then blame it on stories centered around women not doing that well instead of you as a business not marketing it properly? Do you want us to continue subscribing to your streaming services and tuning into your channels, week after week, and writing reviews with the threat of cancellation around every corner? Because from where I’m standing it doesn’t matter if you have the fans, the pop culture backing, or a big star, any TV show or movie is up on the chopping block.
And I would like to know why Hollywood. Because this right here, it’s a mutually beneficial relationship. You entertain me and I write about you in return. But there are other things in this world that can entertain me. And I can shift my attention at any time. So why should I continue dedicating my time, thoughts, and joy if you’re just going to kill the stories I love and the communities that are built around those stories, whether they be TV shows or films? It’s giving “you don’t realize that you need me more than I need you.” And it shows.