Netflix hunger strike: Woman goes on 10-day hunger strike to protest The OA cancellation

·2-min read
The OA hunger strike
The OA hunger strike

A California woman protesting the cancellation of her favourite show has now gone 10 days without eating.

Emperial Young, a writer based in Los Angeles, has been protesting the cancellation of Netflix's sci-fi drama The OA with a hunger strike, which began on August 19th, according to Los Angeles magazine.

Netflix announced it was ending The OA earlier this month. In its two seasons, the show garnered rave reviews — its second season holds a 92 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes — as well as a cult fan base.

The obsessive fan culture surrounding the show was clear in the weeks after the announcement, as protesters demanding a third season started picketing outside Netflix's Los Angeles offices.

Young was one of those protesters. The 35-year-old, who described The OA as a "relentlessly creative, amazing experience", said her goal is to emphasise just how much the show means to her.

"Entertainment is food for the human soul and Netflix's algorithm isn't measuring that right now," Young told Insider last week. "And by not taking physical food, I'm saying that this show is more important food to me than actual food."

The OA hunger strike
The OA hunger strike

In addition to not eating, Young has also committed about eight hours a day to her protest, joining the other picketers outside of Netflix's office. She usually holds a large, white sign saying, "Save the OA", along with a count of how many days she's gone without food.

Young wrote a full "manifesto" on Twitter describing her motives, in which she notes that her protest isn't simply about The OA. The writer said she is technically protesting the "capitalist forces that killed the show".

"I'm hoping that showing how this show is so important that somebody is willing to starve themselves for it would make it a reason that people want to subscribe," Young said. "And alternately, if they don't renew it, a reason that people want to cancel their Netflix accounts."

There has only been one exception to the protest so far. Young admits that she has had one meal during the strike, although she's not including that day in her total count.

She has also taken steps to warn others against hunger strikes, tweeting that they are "not to be taken frivolously."

"While I support individual autonomy and the right to choose for yourself, please examine your motives thoroughly," Young tweeted Sunday.

Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij, the show's creators, learned about Young's protest and decided to reach out. The two even drove by the picket line last week, offering Young a bottle of water and some food.

Marling, who also stars in the show, thanked fans for their support via an Instagram post last week, although she didn't specifically address the hunger strike.

"We're humbled, to be honest floored, by the outpouring of support for The OA," Marling's post read.

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