Shadowhunters fans turn passion into action
Efforts to rescue the Canadianshot TV series set the new standard for such campaigns
t’s being called the biggest fan campaign to save a television show in history, and definitely is one of the most sophisticated. It still might be futile.
Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments is a Toronto-shot supernatural drama, loosely based on Cassandra Clare’s bestselling books, that airs on Freeform in the United States and streams on Netflix internationally.
The second half of the third season has been filmed, but has yet to air. In early June, it was announced that series was cancelled, with the production adding a two-episode finale to wrap things up. That kicked the fan base — who refer to themselves as the Shadowfam — into action, and the Save Shadowhunters movement was born.
Since then, this international group has established a global action plan at saveshadowhunters.com — with some powerful fan accounts like basicshadowhuntersstuff.com and nephilimupdates.com among others co-ordinating efforts.
The money donated has resulted in a plane flying a banner over Netflix headquarters. As well, billboards were posted in Times Square and in Seoul, South Korea, near Netflix’s offices there. In Toronto, a local group fundraised and got space on an electronic billboard downtown.
They bought branded pedicabs at San Diego Comic-Con, and have engaged in email campaigns targeting potential broadcasters that might pick it up, sent flowers and cupcakes to the cast and crew and raised more than $20,000 (U.S.) for various charities, including the Trevor project for suicide prevention.
It is an impressive show of fandom’s current power, and shows the evolution from the letter-writing campaign that saved the original Star Trek, generally acknowledged as the first such effort that worked. Why it still might not be enough at thestar.com/television
From left, Harry Shum Jr., Stephanie Bennett, Emeraude Toubia and Matthew Daddario in Shadowhunters. The series has won several Teen Choice awards, and also has been honoured by GLAAD for its depictions of LGBTQ relationships.