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Netflix wants it both ways with “One Day at a Time” cancellation

The streaming giant wants credit for airing the Latinx show and it seeks to justify killing the show by citing audience data you’ll never see.

Netflix wants it both ways with “One Day at a Time” cancellation
From One Day at a Time [Photo: Mike Yarish/Netflix]

The fans spoke up, but apparently the money spoke louder.

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After a prolonged campaign on Twitter to save Netflix’s charming Latinx sitcom One Day at a Time, which had been on the bubble in recent weeks, the streamer opted to cancel the show anyway. Citing not enough viewers to justify its expense, despite a relatively low price tag given Netflix’s anticipated $15 billion content spree this year, the platform announced its decision on Twitter this afternoon.

However, the way Netflix chose to make the announcement only added insult to injury and further clarified where its motivations lay.

The announcement arrived in a series of tweets that explained, in mournful corporatespeak, how devastated the company is about their bottom line-based decision that could not possibly have gone any other way.

The hand-wringing obituary projects bereavement, as though the extremely well-reviewed show with a rather vocal fan base were a sickly hospital patient who didn’t survive surgery. It’s almost as if Netflix knows the show’s fans have reason to be mad that the studio is bankrolling Orc Cop 2 instead of using the budget from that film to fund One Day at a Time–and three shows like it–for seven seasons apiece.

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If a company strains to sound this pained and apologetic while announcing such a decision, it’s only because it’s aware of the bad optics. Axing ODAAT means sacrificing Netflix’s lone original sitcom aimed squarely at the Latinx community, which is not a good look. But this particular show had the added benefit of being, by most accounts, funny enough to not feel like a token show. The clumsy cancellation announcement suggests that this latter point is lost on the studio.

Netflix wants it both ways–to be a compassionate, woke, stone-cold cancellation machine. But the imperative to be perceived as providing content for underserved viewers is clearly greater than the drive to actually go through with it.

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