Earlier this month, Netflix announced they would not be renewing sci-fi mind-bender The OA for a third season. Fans voiced their displeasure in a number of ways, including flooding Netflix’s Twitter account with the #SaveTheOA hashtag and purchasing billboard space in NYC’s Times Square. But one fan is embracing more extreme tactics. In the grand tradition of Cuban dissidents, Irish republicans, and the Indian Independence Movement, a woman named Emporium Young has gone on hunger strike.
In an interview with Insider, Young says the strike began on August 16th. She’s kept up an active presence online, while physically standing outside Netflix’s Hollywood office. To Young, this is about much more than a TV show: “Entertainment is food for the human soul and Netflix’s algorithm isn’t measuring that right now. And by not taking physical food, I’m saying that this show is more important food to me than actual food.”
Through her Twitter feed, Young linked her protest to broader societal ills. “While it looks like I’m protesting a TV cancellation on the surface, I am protesting the capitalist forces that killed the show, general lack of societal support resources, and to raise awareness about properly teaching AI…. The cancellation is a lens for these topics. Which doesn’t mean I’m not trying to save the show. I definitely, definitely am! But that’s not all I’m doing.”
PART I – THE OBLIGATORY ABSURDITY
To all the people thinking it is absurd to hunger strike over a TV show: I agree. But you want to know something even more absurd?
— E. T. Young (@emverse) August 19, 2019
According to Young, she’s had nothing but water since August 16th. That may sound impossible, but the human body can take a whole lot more. Twice Gandhi fasted for 21 days. The Cuban dissident poet Pedro Luis Boitel died of starvation after 53 days, and the ten Irish republicans who perished on hunger strike survived between 46 and 73 days.
So far, The OA remains cancelled.