Hopes were high among Our Flag Means Death fans as the new year began, and for many the question of a Season 3 renewal was simply down to when the announcement would come. At the same time, most signs from the cast and crew appeared positive. Behind the scenes content was continuing to drop on a regular basis, and several cast interviews discussed hopes of what they might get to do if the show was given a third season. In fact, the wheels may have even been in motion for a third season. According to one report, the pre-production hiring process was already beginning in New Zealand. Suddenly, much like Ed and Stede’s relationship at the end of Season 1, it all fell apart.
On January 9, Our Flag Means Death creator David Jenkins revealed via Instagram that “OUR FLAG won’t be returning for a third season.” Jenkins explained the cancellation by Max “brought them no joy,” and he thanked some of the executives at the streamer who had fought for the show. The Our Flag Means Death fandom immediately began to grieve the news. Denial turned to anger over Max daring to send the show to doggie heaven, then to bargaining about what we had while it lasted, and ultimately depression over what could’ve been. The final stage of grief is acceptance, and fans instead chose to pull OFMD back from the brink of a sad death.
Renew As A Crew fights for Our Flag Means Death renewal
For some, not getting a Season 3 had been rejected as a possibility before Season 2 even aired. Renew As A Crew, a dedicated group of OFMD fans, organized a volunteer-led effort that began campaigning for a third season right as the second premiered on Max, and preparations for that effort had been ongoing since late 2022. The goal unified an already passionate fandom, but Our Flag Means Death fans are no strangers to organizing. From food deliveries in support of the writers’ strike, to $15,000+ raised for RainbowYOUTH, to an ongoing fundraiser benefiting Care for Gaza’s work helping Palestinian families, OFMD fans have fought for many different causes.
This time they’re fighting for the show that brought the fandom together, but Our Flag Means Death is far from Max’s only casualty as of late. One study looking at television cancellations throughout 2023 had Max at the top among all streamers. Other beloved shows like Rap Sh!t, Julia, Southside, A Black Lady Sketch Show, and Gentleman Jack were all abruptly ended by Max. Even going back to late 2022, diverse and queer-centered ballroom competition series Legendary was cancelled and unceremoniously removed from the service entirely. Meanwhile, Max is happy to renew abysmally-rated And Just Like That and call on Gay Twitter to support The Gilded Age after yanking a third season out from under their critically acclaimed and GLAAD Award nominated series Our Flag Means Death.
Renew As A Crew kicked it up a notch as the cancellation news broke, and a petition for renewal has amassed 60,000 signatures and counting. Fans began flooding Max at every angle, politely seizing control of comments on every social media platform to request a third season of Our Flag Means Death and calling Max’s customer service line so often that the representatives have begun streamlining data they collect from upset fans with form responses.
OFMD fans organize ads in support of Season 3
Inspired by past renewal campaigns like Warrior Nun, fans organized a fundraiser in partnership with Renew As A Crew to purchase ads in Times Square and Los Angeles. In a mere 40 minutes, the fundraiser’s initial goal of $10,000 was smashed as donations kept rolling in until the total got as high as $21,583, a portion of which will be donated to charity. Thanks to that fundraiser, the campaign was able to purchase a billboard in Times Square for January 19 and 20, bus and subway ads in NYC, and both a flyover plane and billboard truck in Los Angeles.
In the week and change since the show was cancelled, fans have already bounced back and hopes are rising once again. Renew As A Crew, along with all of the Our Flag Means Death fans speaking up and taking action to save this show, are making an undeniable difference. When I had a moment to speak to Otsanda, a founding member of the Renew As A Crew campaign, she explained what this fight means to those who have gotten involved.
“This renewal is about so many things,” they said. “It’s about seeing yourself. It’s about community. It’s about the jobs of everyone who worked on Our Flag. It’s about uplifting BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ stories. It’s about fighting for a future in streaming where we don’t have to worry that extremely successful, beloved shows will be cancelled before their conclusion. When a show with this strong of a reception doesn’t make the cut, what does that mean for other media? Where is the line, and what does a showrunner have to do to cross it? Our Flag Means Death has been described as lightning in a bottle, and it’s true; any network would be lucky to have a show with such an immense cultural impact.”
Max ‘supportive’ of OFMD finding a new home
As fans have continued to apply pressure in recent days, efforts gained enough attention for The Hollywood Reporter to directly ask HBO and Max CEO Casey Bloys about the petition and ad campaign. His suggestion that “the numbers weren’t there for a renewal” was immediately rejected based on basically every known metric for visualizing the success of Our Flag Means Death, but the good news was Bloys publicly stating that they’ll “be supportive” if the producers can find a different home for a third season.
David Jenkins, Madeleine Sami, Leslie Jones, and Samba Schutte were only a few of the cast and crew that have already shown their love for the Times Square billboard purchased by fans. If negotiations are indeed ongoing with a new streamer or network, Jenkins (and anyone else involved in that process) won’t be able to comment on that until an agreement is reached. As efforts to keep #SaveOFMD trending on Twitter continue, new players entering this fight on the side of Our Flag Means Death include Astroglide, Squishable, Odyssey Toys, and even Jorts the Cat. Post-cancellation morale is as high as it’s ever been, but many won’t rest until Season 3 is announced.
Author: Patches Chance
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