Brit Marling Reacts After 'The OA' Is Canceled By Netflix Following Cliffhanger
By Leena Tailor
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Sundance
The OA star and co-creator Brit Marling took to social media on Monday to respond to news of the Netflix series’ cancellation.
The show lefts fans with a cliffhanger at the end of season two, which was released in March, but the streaming platform announced its cancellation, sparking fans to start a #SavetheOA hashtag on social media.
“Zal and I are deeply sad not to finish this story,” Marling, 36, wrote while addressing the news on Instagram on Monday. “The first time I heard the news I had a good cry. So did one of our executives at Netflix who has been with us since the early days when we were sketching out Hap’s basement on the floor of our production office in Queens. It’s been an intense journey for everyone who’s worked on and cared about this story."
“Someone once asked me on a panel why are you so obsessed with sci-fi?’” Marling continued. “I hadn’t realized I was ‘obsessed’ or even that most of the narratives I’d written to date had been inside the genre of speculative fiction. I was caught off guard. The question had come out a bit like an accusation from someone who didn’t enjoy the genre, so I think I just said something like, ‘uh…it’s fun to world build?’ But I’ve thought about that question a lot since then and I think an answer closer to the truth is this:”
Marling then explained that she found it difficult to find inspiration in the “real” world when she “never felt free in it.”
“As a woman writing characters for myself and other women, it has often felt to me as if the paved roads for travel in narrative are limited,” she said. “Perhaps one day I will be evolved enough as a writer to pave my own roads in “reality” (Elena Ferrante!), but to date I have often felt stymied. I can write about the women ‘on top,”’ but then I am perpetuating the same hierarchies that oppress us (and just asking to shift the oppression to someone else). I can write about the vast majority of women on the economic bottom, but the power of moving images and charismatic actors often glamorizes or perpetuates the very stereotypes the film hopes to critique.”
“I can write about self-deprecating women who expose the abundant gender inequalities for a good laugh, but then, as Hannah Gatsby said in her brilliant story Nanette, I am in some ways trading my humiliation for my paycheck and the chance to be let in,” she continued. “Science fiction wiped this ‘real’ world clean like an Etch-a-Sketch. Science fiction said imagine anything in its place. And so we did.”
Expressing her gratitude to Netflix for making 16 episodes possible, Marling promised that she would be back to tell other stories even if she couldn’t help conclude the story of The OA, in which she starred as Prairie Johnson, a young woman who returns home after disappearing for seven years.
“I haven’t figured out any other effective coping mechanism for being alive in the Anthropocene. And maybe, in some ways, it’s okay not to conclude these characters,” she said. “Steve Winchell will be suspended in time in our imaginations, infinitely evolving, forever running after and finally reaching the ambulance and OA.”