Why Does The OA Matter? – TheOAisReal.com

On August 5th, 2019 Netflix announced that The OA, a groundbreaking series, was canceled. Fans across the globe were heartbroken. Millions of us had watched the show and no real reason was given by Netflix about why they chose to cancel the only sci-fi show on television created by a woman (and a Muslim man of color).

This cancellation came despite the fact that Cindy Holland, VP of Original Programming at Netflix, had been quoted, only months before: “The OA is fantastic. From the very beginning, when Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij pitched us a five-season arc, we were really excited… I think the fans will be very happy.” We were happy. And so were the critics. Part II of The OA has a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics have called The OA a “masterpiece,” a testament to “radical sincerity” and “the most ambitious and thought-provoking show on television.”

But for many of us, The OA is more than a show. The OA is not only interdimensional, it is intersectional, international, and now, interactive. Because it values nuanced stories and lived experiences of diverse characters across races, genders, class lines, and sexualities, The OA has given us real meaning and real community. We have made friends across languages and borders, we have created art work and music and poetry, we have collaborated and witnessed each other struggle and thrive.

With the help of art, we have repaired relationships, mourned loved ones, overcome trauma, and shared wisdom. It has emboldened us to be kinder, better citizens of the world, to know that every single person is worth saving, no matter what the external world would have us believe. That’s what we mean, when we say “The OA is Real.”

On this website, we are collecting a testament to this story’s power. Through The OA, we realized we weren’t crazy, alone, broken. We realized that science and spirituality could co-exist. Most of all, we realized that hope is not naïve. We may be living in a dimension crumbling to violence and pettiness and greed, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be repaired if we all work together.

“No tree survives alone in the forest. When one tree falls ill, we all send food. For, if one tree dies, the canopy is broken. Then all suffer the weather and pestilence that flood in. You will not survive on your own.”

Netflix, you may defend yourself with an algorithm whose unconfirmable numbers you refuse to share. But what if you looked beyond the numbers? The story you programmed drew us to your platform in the first place, the story you nurtured has taught us something real about faith, about myth, about each other. We worry that the “numbers” will always reward easy narratives that reward singular, male journeys and categorize the world in binaries: good and evil, hero and villain, right and wrong, success and failure.

Watch the show. Explore this site. Observe how joyfully we do these movements, look at our art, read how this story changed us. And then join our tribe — there is room here for everyone. We welcome you.

We only ask you to consider one thing: what kind of world have we built with the old stories? And what kind of new stories do we need right now? And what is your responsibility (yes, you) in a world that desperately needs to work together, to listen to each other, to care for our planet and our most vulnerable? What can your algorithm say about all that?

To Brit and Zal, we love you. Your gift has empowered us and made us believe in impossible things. We will make you proud by carrying it within us. We will never lose faith. We are your boys. Your tribe. Your angels.

Video credit: Erica Amber Munoz

43 Comments

  • Tessa Brice says:

    This is incredibly moving. #savetheoa

  • Tammie Williams says:

    Hey, Otter! It’s Theo…

    They way BBA clings to that voicemail because that is all she has left… 💔 There are just so very many touching moments. This show is… profound. And beautiful. #TheOAisReal #SaveTheOA

  • Kelly says:

    Truly beautiful. Thank you so much for all your hard work for our family and community.

  • Becky H. says:

    Touching, beautiful, heartfelt. The OA is about HOPE and love and loneliness and how to survive because you are not alone……..Netflix, please listen! This is more than a TV show – it is art – it speaks to those who are open to hear and see its messages of hope and inclusion and how one person (or five) can make a difference in this world (and beyond this world). We need more hope in this world. This show speaks loudly to those who are open to hear it. Netlix – are you listening?

  • Daniela says:

    Thank you for your hard work! The OA is such a masterpiece it deserves to be told until the story is finished! We won’t give up!

  • Julie says:

    I don’t cry easily but this made me cry. It’s so moving…all the people all over the world…this is more than a “movement. “

  • Verity Cawkwell says:

    I love this program. I can’t believe Netflix have done this. Hopefully they will change there minds. #Believe #SaveTheOA

  • Jessica says:

    This show is the best thing that could of happened to Netflix and to us.
    They’re out there looking for you OA they wont give up. #TheOAisReal #SaveTheOA

  • Devon says:

    The OA saved me, among many others, from who we used to be. Seeing the support that rolls in from around the world leaves me speechless. We are not alone. We are a family; OA showed us this. Now it’s time for us to save her.

  • Jennifer says:

    This is amazing! The OA and everyone involved with the deeper journey has connected and touched so many people.

    A conscious and examined life (full of deeper meaning, trust, faith, and love) is a life well-lived.

    For those of us who value experiences , connections, emotion, science, art, spiritually, learning, mystery, logic, the unknown, mystery, philosophy, math, physics, religion, society, music, being human, beauty, pain, hurt, hope, guidance… For US, The OA fires on all cylinders!

    The OA is deeply thought-provoking, original, beautiful and more valuable than all the dollars in the world.

    Thank you to Brit & Zal as well as all the fans and positive energy that has been created though this project.

    We will all leave our doors open.
    We will invite you in.

  • Eylul says:

    More than a show. The story must continue.
    We will keep running to you OA.
    So much love from Turkey .

  • Jessica says:

    I’m so moved by all of this! First by the OA, it’s beautiful writing, it’s emmersive world of strange and beautiful characters that are all a part of each and every one of us. Literally and figuratively. We are. Each of us carry a piece of one or more of these characters with us and are part of our own story. That’s why so many people LOVE this show. It’s so raw and human but magical and out of this world at the same time. I love you all and I have never felt this way about another price of work like this. It feels so good to fight for this. We have to keep going.
    💞💮💫✌️🌱🕊️😇💖✌️🚪🗝️
    Jess

  • Hugo says:

    The OA is one of the most amazing series I’ve ever seen in my life. We need to go on with the story … It is very rare to find such a masterpiece today and it has given me hope to continue!

  • Corinne says:

    The OA cancellation by Netflix is a really big fault. Sure that Britt and Zac will find other productors because these Series is pure Art ! Perharps Netflix did not understand the real meaning of the OA

  • Sebastián says:

    The OA is a really inspiring show about hope and strength, loneliness and how to find yourself not really alone, to find yourself and fight for what you believe in. I’m sad Netflix cancelled it, I hope they see us unite and shout all together, they have to change their mind about this show. It is not just a show, it was an artistic masterpiece #theOAisreal #savetheOA

  • Shawn says:

    One of the few modern works that shows one how to be a better human. I’m not surprised it was cancelled, the themes explored within the work undercut the very foundations the modern world rests upon. Thank you for your work Britt and Zac! It was a beautiful experience!

  • Maddy says:

    This website brought me to tears. So much togetherness and hope all in one. Each page to the next is truly touching and gives me hope all over again and reminds what the OA really means to me and how it’s helped me in so many ways. I am forever indebted to Brit and Zal for helping me in ways they will never know. thank you to them and the creators and contributors of this website.

  • Rolf says:

    I just heard today about the cancellation and instantly wrote a message to Netflix that I will move to the next network which will continue this show.
    Since Netflix is run by mere algorithms, I now start the OA whenever I leave the house or go to bed and mute my laptop.
    I spread it to all 5 Netflix profiles in the hope that they then count it as views from 5 different viewers.

    Not only did the OA fill my heart, I also liked how Brit Marlin rather took 2 years of time to do it right and did not let herself be forced to the average standard of having to make each episode the same length – the first credit of the OA came after one hour!

    What really impressed me is her statement on twitter: https://twitter.com/britmarling/status/1165013288532332544 and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/B1hKgS9pUZG/
    in which she clearly sees that our current capitalist system is broken and heading for a transformation.

    To me she is one of the transformational leaders, and I am doing my best to facilitate a change in society,
    starting right now, by working out how an alternative currency can create another reality for all of us.
    https://tinyurl.com/yxqxy44m

  • maria says:

    magnificence.
    thanks for creating this parallel universe where we all can feel safe and connected.
    THE OA FOREVER

  • I love this show, it’s hard to find that kind of art that moves every fiber of my heart and mind, but Zal and Brit managed to do that and they got to show it to us for nearly 16 hours.
    #SaveTheOA

  • Antonio Scarlatti says:

    I watched The OA Parts I and II over one week, and I was deeply affected by it. There aren’t really words, just pure feeling. It is also very beautiful to see that the message of the show has struck a chord with so many people around the world. What an interesting movement! I especially appreciate the efforts to donate to organizations on behalf of The OA, or to clean up parks and beaches on behalf of The OA. Best wishes to everyone to keep this thing going and growing! The world needs more of you!

  • Alice says:

    Obrigada por compartilhar toda essa obra conosco! Estaremos juntos para que a história continue e ganhe seu desfecho vocês merecem contar e nós merecemos conhecê-la, The OA foi mais que um seriado, foi e é uma fonte de compartilhamento incansável e místico que leva cada um pra um lugarzinho dentro de si diferente! #SaveTheOA #TheOAIsReal

  • Genesis E Gomez says:

    #savetheOA

  • Heather says:

    My heart was broken to learn that The OA was cancelled. I’ve watched seasons 1 & 2 over & over & find new insights & deeper meanings every time. My heart was broken, but seeing the thousands of us who are so touched by this story gives me hope, heals my heart. I want to give each & every one of you a (((HUGE HUG)))! Brit & Zal, thank you…we will never give up! 💜

  • Thilo says:

    Here is a sound strategy I worked out:
    Netflix is driven by capitalistic algorithms, so they will wipe of any twitter storm like flies.
    But the way to get to them is in their own realm is through statistics and money.

    And the way to do this is by simply playing the OA whenever you go to sleep or leave your house alternating all your profiles until the OA has tons of views
    and should they realise that this is a fan tactics,
    then they also listen, because they see that OA-fans costs them tons of bandwidth.
    We even could threaten them to play the OA until they agree to a bunch of more seasons.

    Also, ‘Marling-darling’,
    in case you or any friend of her reads this: Continue to write a third season even without a contract.
    Remember how long it took you to get a second season out, and this is your chance to be ahead of the game by slowly brainstorming about the next arch without the time pressure you must have had for season 2.

    My intuition is that this show will go on, and ‘luck’ is simply when preparation meets opportunity.

  • Ham says:

    ‪The main message of the show is to abandoned the cynicism of individualism, and to come together as a collective in earnest with hope and sincerity and optimism.‬

    ‪You can see this change happen in Steve throughout the show.‬
    ‪He begins as a very angry and selfish young man, and as it progresses he opens up and embraces these powers that the collective brings.‬
    ‪“I need your help.”‬

    ‪And it was only after the Movement to #SaveTheOA started that I realized that was the strange feeling I felt upon watching it, it was affecting me in a similar way.‬

    ‪Watching these characters come together, performing the silly movements as a group as a tribe, and at the end of Part I in the face of the extreme violence of individuality in the school shooter.‬

    ‪I think that many many other people who watched it also experienced this strange feeling, but because so many are poisoned by the cynicism that this world (particularly the individualism inherent in capitalism) breeds, they were made uncomfortable by this message, and it caused them to dismiss The OA.‬

    ‪Cynicism is poisonous and doesn’t uplift.‬
    ‪It’s the collective that uplifts.‬

    ‪This experience has absolutely changed my outlook on a lot of things.‬

    ‪Whether the show is actually dead or not, it’s had a profound real life affect on many of us.‬

    ‪The OA is real.‬

  • Shalise J says:

    The OA is unlike anything I’ve ever seen, it helped me understand things and relate to life in a way I hadn’t thought of before. This show has helped so many people in so many ways. It deserves an end. A real ending. Save it.

  • serdar says:

    lütfen bitmesin,yaşamak için tek sebebim oa.

  • Iole says:

    The OA is very,very fantastic… i love the OA, i love Praire!!!! ❣❣

  • Last night I had dinner with a friend who is one of the execs heading up the new streaming division called HBO Max. We had a discussion about The OA & I told her that we need to have lunch by ourselves so that I can explain to her as much insight as I have been able to gather in my rewatching & studying of the show. I explained that it is a masterpiece beyond that which anyone is really aware as of yet & that its tentacles reach into the real world in ways beyond social media, fan art & connections. She was intrigued.

    Anyway, what I left understanding is that HBO Max could be persuaded to play the scavenger & purchase The OA if they had a deal with Brit & Zal for their next project as well. They have a ton of money over there & it’s brand new so the world is their oyster. And this sounds like the best bet for what it is worth. I’ll meditate on it a bit and see how we might be able to encourage fans to make themselves known to HBO Max. But Brit, if you’re reading this, know that this is where they stand. HBO Max will probably fall all over themselves to work with you, they just might not say it in so many words. Yay for martinis!

    With much love + admiration for you, Zal + Mike,
    Justine

    P.S. My husband was the blonde guy at the guild screening/ Q&A who outed my crazy, semi-unformed (Lorena) theories in front of the whole room. I shouldn’t leave him unattended like that in the future. 😬

  • Tonya Knight says:

    #BritMarling #SaveTheOA #TheOAIsReal
    Brit, THANK YOU! Thank you for being you!, for creating something so amazing and great that makes people feel alive and come together as one. Thank you for your inspirational message and story to the students of Georgetown, (your Alma Mater), if I am remembering correctly, of how Zal and you got your starts & how you got to where you are in your careers basically. You truly are an amazing person, there aren’t too many celebrities that I follow and like that I would even comment something like this. You truly are an inspiration.

  • Iná says:

    Escrevo em português brasileiro porque essa é minha lingua, quem eu sou.
    Obrigada pelo texto, o site está incrível, uma reunião muito bem elencada dos elementos que compõem essa história.
    A mensagem está chegando em ondas, estamos juntos transmitindo-a.

    Sejamos um em todos.

  • Rafa says:

    Yo soy de Venezuela. Sé un poco de inglés pero prefiero escribir esto en mi idioma materno por la misma iniciativa de un brasileño que acabo de ver por acá. Y es que es acerca de eso de lo que quisiera hablar… The OA nos ha movido y nos ha unido de una manera en la que muy pocas cosas (por no decir ninguna) nos ha movido últimamente. Es una historia transformadora, es ARTE y cuando el arte se hace de manera transparente y honesta tal como lo hicieron Brit y Zal es como ese momento en el que los chicos descubrieron el 5to movimientos… Es prácticamente mágico y esa magia compagina de una manera única con el hecho de ser humanos. Creo, según yo, que eso es mucho de lo que Brit habla, de ser, de estar, de conectar-nos… The OA definitivamente es real, justo como leí hace poco en la publicación de Brit. Al final SI saltaron a otra dimensión… Saltaron a la nuestra. Están aquí, lo lograron!!! Y aunque la aventura de aquellos personajes continue lejos de nuestra vista (al menos por ahora) ya el Ángel Original está entre nosotros, todos somos ángeles y es hora de… hacer…

  • Anon says:

    Find whoever the writer is and request that they write book sequals.

  • Karen kay says:

    Bullshit!!! This makes me want to cancel Netflix until stranger things4 comes out…how can they do this to fans??

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