The landscape of traditional media is changing, and a lot of it is thanks to social media. I was learning about how the film and TV industry traditionally function, how they choose which projects to fund and which to cut and one thing is abundantly clear: that system is going to be outdated very soon.
One thing that struck me is that film and TV studios’ policy to stick with the same tried and true formula is shifting. With movies with women and PoC superheroes topping the box offices and the call for diversity being amplified, it is abundantly clear that audiences are ready for more inclusive and diverse content.
The latest example of how social media played an instrumental role in choosing a show is Brooklyn Nine-Nine. This 5 season show on Fox was canceled and the internet went berserk! I was one of the outraged fans.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine was one of the most wholesome, diverse and funny shows I’ve ever watched. With well rounded characters with flaws that aren’t toxicity hidden as lovable dork (I am looking at you Ross Geller), where it’s hard to pick a favourite character since any character on screen is automatically your favourite, and healthy friendships and relationships of various levels of intimacy, it’s easy to see why fans were upset when the show got cancelled.
Cue the outrage on social media, with stars like Lin Manuel Miranda, Guillermo Del Toro, etc joining the trending hashtag on Twitter. Next thing you know the show is picked up by NBC after 30 hours of being canceled.
Social Media is an incredibly powerful tool, and eventually, it will be what studios use to judge the profitability of a show. Nielsen families will be a thing of the past as more people watch shows online and share what they think via social media. And people are craving representation, a chance for their stories to be heard. Movies and TV’s have the incredible power of controlling narratives and rewriting reality, at least momentarily.
With social media, we can influence it more directly as opposed to the old way where we had to send a letter that went through layers of control and screening. We can band together with people who feel the way we do and demand for the representation we crave.
We don’t have to wait for people at the table to feed us, with social media we can make a seat at that table. Shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, One Day At A Time, Dear White People and movies like Black Panther, Wonder Woman, Love Simon etc, are becoming more popular and studios are taking notes. So here’s to more seasons and sequels to these shows and movies and to more such content from the entertainment industry.