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'Sense8' fans protest Netflix series' cancellation with petitions, hashtags

"Sense8" was canceled by Netflix on Thursday, June 1, 2017. From left, Miguel Angel Silvestre, Toby Onwumere and Bae Doona appear in the second episode of the second season of the sci-fi series, which aired in 2017. Photo Credit: Netflix / Murray Close

Netflix is facing major backlash from fans of its science-fiction TV series “Sense8” who are flooding social media in protest of the series' cancellation last week.

Netflix's vice president of original content Cindy Holland on Thursday issued a statement confirming the cancellation of the Emmy-nominated series that notably cast LGBT actors, including transgender actress Jamie Clayton, in leading roles. The show was also created by “The Matrix” filmmakers, transgender siblings Lilly and Lana Wachowski.

Thursday happened to mark the beginning of National LGBT Pride Month.

Now, "Sense8" fans are hoping to reach the streaming giant through social media using the hashtags, #RenewSense8 and #BringBackSense8. Multiple online petitions have also been created to encourage Netflix to bring back the beloved series, which lasted only two seasons.

Most recently, fans have created “Operation Flip-Flop,” in which they mail a single flip-flop to Reed Hastings, the co-founder and CEO of Netflix, accompanied with the message, “’Sense8 needs closure like Lito needs his flip-flop.” The message references a plot point in the series in which the character Lito Rodriguez (Miguel Silvestre) loses his shoe.

Others have scheduled to cancel their Netflix subscriptions in protest on June 8 at 8:08 p.m.

Ahead of the "Sense8" debut in 2015, Netflix’s chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, said during a television panel that the series would be "every bit as big, if not bigger, than [the Wachowskis'] feature films" in terms of budget and run time. He estimated the show had a per-episode budget of $9 million.

The "Sense8" cancellation is Netflix's second in just over a week. “The Get Down," about the rise of hip-hop, punk and disco in the Bronx in the late '70s, was canceled in late May after just one season.  

Despite the backlash, Netflix has not announced any plans to renew “Sense8,” and continues to push other original content on its social media, including the recently-released final season of “Bloodline” and the fifth season of “Orange Is the New Black," which drops Friday.

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