Why Netflix Canceling Sense8 On The First Day of Pride Month Is A Big Deal

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In a move that seems designed to annoy a good chunk of its fanbase, Netflix cancelled Sense8 on June 1st, the first day of Pride Month.

Sense8, directed by Lilly and Lana Wachowski, follows eight individuals across the globe. Slowly, they discover they’re connected through their senses and thoughts. Season One premiered in 2015 to critical acclaim and popularity. Season Two took two years to produce – only to be abruptly cancelled a month later.

However, the move seems to have ignited the Sense8 fanbase in a way Netflix has never seen before. In the last five days, angry fans have taken to Twitter, Tumblr, and even Change.org to petition Netflix for a renewal, or at least some answers. Not only that, but they’ve been swarming Netflix with angry phone calls.

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WHY IS “SENSE8” SO IMPORTANT?

Sense8 is incredibly unusual with how much backlash it’s generated from its cancellation. Like the screenshot above says, usually after a few days, people move on. However, this time, it’s different.

The Change.org petition for Season 3, 94,000 signatures away from being complete, gives one explanation.

“It is not just a tv show, to watch for fun, instead of just being that, Sense 8 has given the world a new way of seeing others: with acceptance, love and understanding.”

With the world getting scarier all the time, it’s an important message. Critics called Season One too political and cheesy. However, Season Two was exactly what the world needed after the sharp downturn of 2016. Lito comes out as a gay man at the Sao Paolo Pride Parade, for those who can’t come out of the closet. Nomi and Amanita propose to each other, for those around the world who can’t marry those they love. Capheus starts fighting for his neighborhood as somebody who understands the area; for those who feel downtrodden and ignored by their leaders.

WHY CANCEL SENSE8?

The short answer is: Nobody’s quite sure. The secondary aim of the petition on Change.org is to get some sort of definitive answer from Netflix. Unfortunately since Netflix refuses to release viewer numbers, it’s hard to say. Metro pinpoints the issue when it brings up that while Netflix apparently ‘needed to cancel shows’, Sense8 was cancelled unfinished while 13 Reasons Why got a second season it doesn’t need.

“The issue gets stickier when you consider critical failures like Marvel’s Iron Fist earlier this year, which is presumably untouchable being grid-locked into Marvel’s wider TV universe. The platform’s ongoing partnership with Adam Sandler for four more movies now also feels particularly sour. We doubt you’d see hashtag trends or online petitions if they cut that leash.”

In addition, Sense8 is far from the only inclusive show to be cut. The Get Down, the hip-hop chronicle from Baz Luhrmann, was cut last month. Outside of Netflix, CBS’s Doubt, ABC’s The Real O’Neals, and USA’s Eyewitness have all been cancelled this year. Doubt is especially tragic; featuring Orange is the New Black’s breakout star Laverne Cox as a trans lawyer, it ran for two unadvertised episodes before being quietly dropped.

Overall, it’s not a good look. In the wake of a tough year, networks should be giving diverse shows a chance to shine. Instead they’re being systematically axed and discouraged, spitting in the face of people who need these shows.

At least we have the promise of four more Adam Sandler movies on the horizon.

Sign the petition here.


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Elliott Dunstan
Elliott Dunstan is a semi-professional Canadian nerd with a special talent for reading way too fast, spouting weird trivia, and latching emotionally onto that minor character with a one-liner in the second episode. Elliott was born in 1995 and is mildly annoyed by this.

11 COMMENTS

  1. Honest question guys: Do you know how we could crowdfund a movie finale..?

  2. 1. NBC RENEWED TIMELESS AFTER FAN REQUESTS WHY CAN’T NETFLIX DO THE SAME???

    2. Netflix released a statement –> they expected us to stop sooner, in only a week we made such an impact they couldn’t ignore us. In this statement they claim to have “thought about it” what does that even mean when no cast and crew were contacted

    3. Netflix livechat employees are now responding with a copy-paste officially approved statement (you can push by asking the right questions) –> they even developed an internal protocol to answer to us fans

    4. Netflix is a huge corporation –> it will not kneel so easily in just a week, we have to stick to it for much longer

    5. Netflix cannot divulge the reasons for cancelling (it will be unprofessional) or sell the show to a competitor –> so the best solution is just a season 3 or a movie for closure

    6. Netflix has The Crown (the most expensive show ever, and it is about BRITISH MONARCHY), while cancelling The Get Down (equally expensive) and renewing a bunch of low quality series (like 13reasonswhy) –> WHY couldn’t they allocate their budget on Sense8 instead of cancelling as well? WHY not contact the cast & crew to make it cheaper? WHY not ask the fans for more support to keep it going? There were so many alternatives than cancelling

    7. Netflix did a terrible job at marketing –> I hadn’t even heard of the show until this fuss began about cancellation, meaning the fans did a better job at promoting Sense8 than Netflix.. Also, OITNB (which is amazing) is campaigned for Pride month hmmmm WHY couldn’t Sense8 be?

    8. Not having an ending does not make sense for future audiences to watch, so by doing this they are completely wasting all the money they invested.. Not to mention they acquired Sense8 rights AFTER season1, why do this if you can’t afford it and then cancel???

    9. Netflix disrespected artists like the Wachowskis, McTeigue, Tywker, Straczynski & cast, especially since they delivered a visual product of masterful shooting and editing

    10. Netflix should be concerned with its public image. As a company, aside from profit it should also consider social responsibility. They promote shows about self-centered narrow-minded kids that use suicide as revenge and axe shows that promote inclusion and diversity.. What kind of message is that supposed to be? Should Netflix just reflect the sad reality of today’s viewers or ALSO, AT THE SAME TIME invest a little bit at shaping the better, more open-minded and mature viewers of tomorrow? Even if the profit is not AS great, the reward is totally worth it

    KEEP CALLING AND TEXTING, THEIR STOCKS ARE DOWN WE ARE HAVING AN IMPACT (everyone on Twitter, I SEE YOU, KEEP UP, I LIVECHAT NON STOP ALL DAY LONG) + everyone just CANCEL NETFLIX and let them know why

    And Netflix HAS picked up shows in the past, like Fuller House and Gilmore Girls, it’s not so hard to do ;ppp

  3. I joined Netflix to watch sense8. Now I’m very done that when you watch a show that is interesting. It is cancelled. That is why I’m not the only one canceling my Netflix. Everyone should to prove that numbers make sense. Just like the 8 ball when you ask questions it shows you a scripture.

  4. The worst part about the cancellation is the massive cliffhanger at the finale..
    I can see why it was cancelled but I’m still annoyed… There wasn’t a lot they could do once it was revealed that there were more than just the 8 Sensates; it started to lose its appeal when there were more of them and they were revealed as a separate race to Homosapiens

  5. Fed up this is disappointing sense8 was brilliant a race against time.
    I pay Netflix as thousands of others do to watch shows like this.
    I hope it is shown somewhere else as I would rather go to another site if this is the case.
    What are you playing at Netflix.

  6. I wonder if the change in the Political climate is the main reason why the show was cancelled. Ok I went there, maybe/maybe not but it has been a reason in American tv to do before. So sad if this were true that Netflix would crumble under the pressure of the new regime

  7. Netflix its boring, they need strong competetors maybe some other network will jump on the chance and be smart and take on the show all together and make lots and lots of money.

  8. I absolutely love this show there is nothing else like it out there I feel like this is worse then Firefly

  9. I’m super disappointed that it’s gone, but come on. No one’s quite sure why it was canceled? Quit being disingenuous – it’s a super expensive show with a niche audience.

  10. Do not know why Sense* was cancelled which I find totally unfair as I was so hooked with this series which is incredibly excellent. It is the second series that I cannot finish from Netflix that I was watching, the other one is the Witches of East End which was another excellent production but no, Netflix decided to cancelled as well. Can Netflix at least ask people if these series are really getting audition before taking decision which only upset us? Thanks

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