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The OA cancelled: Brit Marling perfectly explains why telling women’s stories through sci-fi is important

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Lauren Geall
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Brit Marling in season 2 of The OA

The OA’s creator Brit Marling took to Instagram to share her thoughts after Netflix announced the show’s cancellation. 

If you haven’t heard the news yet, I’m sorry to break it to you: The OA has been cancelled.

The show, which follows the story of an adopted blind woman who turns up unannounced after a seven year disappearance covered in scars, is a mysterious sci-fi drama full of twists and turns that keep you guessing throughout.

But despite it’s popularity among critics and fans alike, the Netflix original sci-fi drama has officially met its maker after two seasons on the streaming platform, and it’s safe to say that the internet was not happy. 

Alongside the thousands of responses on social media, fans have taken things into their own hands and started a petition to get The OA renewed for a third season.

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But while the internet kicks up a storm and spams Netflix’s customer service department, there was one person who hit the nail on the head when it came to why the show (and imaginative dramas like it) are so important for telling women’s stories - the show’s creator and star, Brit Marling.

Taking to her Instagram, Marling shared a heartfelt statement upon the announcement of the show’s cancellation, and perfectly explained why genres like speculative fiction are so important for telling women’s stories. Referencing a question she was asked at a Q & A session a few years ago, Marling spelled out why she’s so “obsessed” with sci-fi, and promised fans that she will continue to work in the genre.

Brit Marling on the red carpet for an event for The OA the show she created, executive produces and stars in
The OA cancelled: Brit Marling has promised fans her and co-creator Zal Batmanglij will tell other stories.

“It’s hard to be inspired to write stories about the “real” world when you have never felt free in it,” she began.

“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 then went on to list the types of women she could write about - whether that’s women at the top or bottom of the economic ladder, or self-deprecating women “who expose the abundant gender inequalities for a good laugh” which ultimately leads to her “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.” 

And among the well-wishers and angry fans on social media, there were also those who reiterated Marling’s sentiment, backing her opinion that sci-fi allows writers to transcend the restrictions of everyday society.

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#TheOA offers my imagination an escape from the marginalising forces that want to restrict, capitalise, abuse & exploit our unique/conventionally challenging existences,” wrote Pose star Indya Moore. “The OA offers some of the best sci-fi - a genre that offers a limitless array of exits and entrances.”

“Today my favourite show was cancelled. I am devastated,” added another Twitter user. “#TheOA was truly unique, fascinating, surprising, touching and creative. It was a damn work of art. We didn’t deserve something so good.”

Images: Netflix/Getty

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