In a complete surprise to fans, Freeform announced its decision to cancel Shadowhunters at the end of the show’s third season. The show was celebrated by the network back in its early days when it was critically questionable at best, but now as the acting, story, and atmosphere of the show are getting really exceptional, the show is getting the axe, reportedly due to Disney and Netflix’s big breakup.
See, Disney owns Freeform and the domestic rights to the show, but the international distribution rights belong to Netflix. The two companies had been working synchronicity until recently, when Disney announced plans to move most of its content off of Netflix and start their own streaming service. It seems Netflix is pretty bitter about this, because when Freeform requested that Netflix allow them to produce the show in smaller batches (aka shorter seasons, something Freeform is allegedly attempting to do with all its shows), Netflix cancelled their side of the distribution deal, leaving Shadowhunters‘ show budget to completely implode. Freeform’s EVP Karey Burke called the cancellation “purely economic”. It’s an even bigger blow to fans, because who wants to hear that their favorite show is creatively worthy and has solid viewership, but is still gone thanks to corporate power games?
Fans immediately began the #SaveShadowhunters campaign, meant to convince the various networks involved (or maybe an open outside network) to give the show a little more longevity beyond a tacked-on 2-hour finale event. Sure, you can and should tweet the hashtag, but there are also other actions to consider. Let’s take a look, shall we?
Sign The Petition
Shadowhunters fan Serena Leslie started a Change.org petition to save the show shortly after the cancellation news broke. It currently has 114.5k signatures, but every additional signature counts, as it shows networks just how much interest there is for the show. You can either sign anonymously or comment publicly and once you’ve done so, you can share the information on social media so others can sign as well!
Donate to The Trevor Project
Part of the reason so many of us love the show is the amazing representation, so the team at Basic Shadowhunters Stuff enacted another brilliant idea: They’re raising money for The Trevor Project in the name of the show and its fans. It shows that fans are not only on board, but willing to put their money where their mouth is. The initial goal was a mere $500, fans have raised over $10,000 so far.
Use The Hashtags… With Caution!
You want to use #SaveShadowhunters and #PickUpShadowhunters all day, every day on social media, right? Not quite. If you use a hashtag too aggressively, Twitter assumes you’re trying to spam, harass others, or artificially inflate hashtag statistics, so they’ll “shadow ban” you. You tweets won’t be visible to others, and that won’t do the cause any good. Remember to also tweet normally without the hashtags in between and when you do use the hashtags, try to include meaningful content with it instead of JUST using the hashtags.
On top of that, hashtags mean NOTHING if you don’t spell them out correctly. Always double check your spelling! Social media has major influence, but we have to know how to use it wisely!
Request Shadowhunters From Netflix
Netflix’s refusal to carry the show with fewer episodes per season seems petty, at best, given that some of their shows only have 6 or 8 episodes a season. So let’s remind them that this show still has eager fans! Head to their title request page and throw “Shadowhunters” in all three suggestion boxes. If you have an account, sign in before submitting so the network knows it’s something their paying customers want. Also, a message on social media like Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram could be helpful, as well– remember, just don’t spam or harass anyone because that’s thoroughly uncool, even if they’re a corporate entity.
Go For Those Awards
Currently, the show is up for five Teen Choice Awards, as well as E! Online’s TV Scoop Awards. As with these other tasks, voting for the show and your favorites on it shows the world that the fans are dedicated and want more. Vote your little hearts out!
Keep Up With Fan Efforts
If you really want to show back for more seasons, the worst thing to do would be to share the hashtag a couple times and forget about it. Consistency is key! Thankfully, a group of fans have started a homepage for this resistance, SaveShadowhunters.com, and it’s being updated with the latest news and campaigns. For instance, a postcard campaign is just starting up, as well as plans to increase visibility via IMDb ratings. Be sure to keep checking back with them for more!