John Legend is on a mission to save his critically acclaimed series Underground. The hashtag #SAVEUNDERGROUND is trending on Twitter and with good reason. Though Underground has excellent ratings, a huge fan following, and has sparked conversations and even debate, WGN America has canceled it along with the series Outsiders.
Underground is a ground-breaking series that John Legend executively produces that shows the fight for freedom via the Underground Railroad and the first Civil Rights movement through the eyes of African American heroes and victims. Underground uses fictional narrative to make the people who experienced slavery relatable and even helps audience members understand what it was like to be a slave.
America is currently at a turning point and is in the midst of social upheaval. Since President Trump has taken office issues of race and the appropriate lens for viewing history has moved to the forefront. Though there were many race-related issues that took center stage during President Obama’s terms, such as Trayvon Martin and police shootings, it wasn’t until President Trump took office that more voices took to social protest over race issues in the U.S.
While controversies such as the NFL protests, police shootings of black citizens and criminals, if government buildings should wave the Confederate flag and whether Civil War statues and memorials should be removed are at the forefront of current affairs, the show Underground continued to gain momentum and gain high ratings and attract a large audience.
John Legend shared a plea on Twitter with the hashtag #SAVEUNDERGROUND that points to a possible political motive for the show’s cancellation.
Should Underground be picked up as an original series on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon?
— John Legend (@johnlegend) September 27, 2017
According to an earlier report, Oprah Winfrey said the OWN network can’t pick up Underground due to budget issues. OWN is still a new network and is currently filming Queen Sugar. The cost of Underground far exceeds the network’s budget, but is that the end of the story? Can viewers pitch through funding options such as a Kickstarter campaign and save Underground?
If OWN or BET can’t save Underground, then Netflix or Hulu and even Amazon should step in and save the ground-breaking program. Underground has won a Saturn and AAFCA award and has been nominated for 13 other awards including a Television Critics’ Award (TCA).
What do you think? Should Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, or even OWN step in and save Underground?