Just when you thought SHADOWHUNTERS fans couldn’t be more disappointed in Freeform…
In case Freeform isn’t already in enough hot water with the Shadowhunters fanbase, it went and did this.
After the unceremonious cancellation of the popular show with a large LGBTQ+ story and audience during Pride Month, fans launched the #SaveShadowhunters campaign which trended worldwide and made a major impact (more on that below.) In the wake of it all, the network didn’t acknowledge these efforts. Now Freeform has once again shown its complete apathy towards the show and its fanbase, all while airing a “POPnKnowledge” version of Toy Story during which fun facts and trivia pop up on the screen while the film plays.
Sounds harmless right? Well, in one particular scene, when Andy is about to go out, his mom says he can bring one toy with him. So Woody uses a Magic 8 Ball to ask if he’ll get picked. Want to take a guess as to what Freeform decided to insert into this particular scene? What its ‘fun fact’ was?
“Will Freeform save Shadowhunters if I keep tweeting about it?”
And the Magic 8 Ball’s response was “DON’T COUNT ON IT”. Funny, right? Well, not if you’re a Shadowhunters fan. Oh, you better believe that Twitter blew up almost immediately with severe backlash against Freeform.
One fan wrote:
“More than anything, it speaks towards the heartless nature of the TV business sometimes and a lack of gratitude sometimes to the fans who are responsible for making shows successful in the first place.”
Another fan attacked Freeform’s parent company Disney and the upcoming release of Mary Poppins Returns saying:
“Was looking forward to seeing this but it won’t be happening thanks to the disrespect shown to the #Shadowhunters fans by @FreeformTV during their broadcast of Toy Story.”
In playfully creating a question about Shadowhunters, Freeform showed complete disregard to the efforts of real people’s efforts in saving a show that they loved and still love. Despite what you may think, the #SaveShadowhunters Twitter campaign is still alive and going strong, even months after the initial announcement. During the summer, diehard fans even took the campaign beyond Twitter this summer and brought it all over the country.
From organizing a plane with a #SaveShadowhunters banner to circle Netflix’s LA headquarters to renting two billboards in Times Square and even popping up on Seoul, Korea and on London public transportation.
What’s even more impressive about these efforts is that through this campaign, the Shadowhunters fanbase also raised over $20,000 for various charities. So you can understand why Freeform received incredible backlash for this insensitive and incredibly inconsiderate behavior.
Freeform offered up a lukewarm apology in the form of a quote tweet, but the process behind these shows proves them wrong: This joke had to be written (at the very least showing that someone in the Freeform offices is laughing at fan efforts), approved, and edited in before it aired.
This was a mistake. We never intended to disrespect the Shadowhunters fandom. We apologize for this. https://t.co/CNz7Tv6FQ1
— Freeform (@FreeformTV) December 16, 2018
The expanded 12-episode final season, dubbed Shadowhunters: The Final Hunt, will air beginning February 25, 2019.