Listen Up Girl Meets World Fans!
Okay, GMW Fandom we need to have a chat. I haven’t been active over the last few months because I have a lot going on personally and professionally. However; that doesn’t mean I don’t care about GMW anymore. I’ve been quietly active in my own way for months.
I’ve called, emailed, and live chatted with Netflix, Hulu and Amazon about picking up the show. I made my planes4GMW paper airplanes for all four networks (the ones above and Disney). I reached out to my old boss at Disney (the VP of Disney’s in house creative agency) to see if he has any insight. He’s been kind of enough to answer my questions. What I’m saying is that I’m keeping my finger on the pulse of what is happening with GMW. I was doing it before the show was officially canceled and now I’m doing it to keep up with the effort to get the show picked up elsewhere.
When I saw everyone attacking Linda Ge, a prominent entertainment journalist, for her article yesterday I was disappointed, to say the least. I understand that Netflix was the first choice of venue for a lot of people but that’s not a reason to ignore what she is saying or to deride her abilities or integrity as a journalist.
As someone who worked in PR and Marketing for several years, I can assure you that there are numerous, numerous occasions on which someone in a corporation will anonymously give information to a journalist that they want the public to know without giving a quote or providing official confirmation from their company. That is how journalism works. Please, go read a newspaper; at least half of the articles will say “sources close to” or “sources deep inside the organization” “certain high ranking officials” etc. Journalism depends on the ability of a source to give information without revealing their identity. They may lose their job if their identity is revealed. A million things could happen. Sometimes it’s as simple as a corporation telling someone to approach a journalist but to retain anonymity because they want a piece of info out but they don’t want to publicly announce something. If I had to guess I would say this last possibility is exactly what happened with Netflix and Linda Ge.
As someone that now works as an editor for an online magazine, I can tell you that the process for getting an article published, especially by a legitimate source such as Yahoo, is incredibly rigorous. You need to confirm a story with at least three reliable sources. We don’t publish the additional sources or give readers their names, but you better believe both the journalist and the editor verified any story, especially one that breaks any type of news, with three sources.
There is no way Linda Ge wrote a story and got it published with false information.
Let me say this again: there is no way a reputable site like Yahoo would have published a story without verifying the veracity of the story first.
As for the people that contacted customer service at Netflix and were told it’s still possible; I think it’s wonderful that you’re attempting to be diligent. However, customer service is the lowest man on the totem pole of Netflix. Even when I worked for Guest Relations at Disney back in the day, there were many many times I knew information before it was officially announced to the public and if people asked me about it I was required to say no decision has been made, even if I knew a decision had been made and I knew what that decision was. My point is that 1) it’s likely that no one has told customer service what’s happening 2) it’s likely that even if customer service does know they are only allowed to say that no decision has been made and nothing is confirmed because that’s what corporate wants them to say.
Now, why would corporate want customer service to say nothing is confirmed? Most likely they aren’t planning on making an official announcement about not picking the show up. Networks and streaming platforms make announcements when shows are canceled but networks rarely, if ever make actual official announcements when they aren’t picking a show up. I can think of one example of a network/streaming platform that made an announcement about not picking up a canceled show. It very very rarely happens. If a network isn’t planning on announcing anything they aren’t going to have any of their representatives say anything because that defeats the purpose of not making an announcement.
To sum up: Linda Ge is Netflix’s announcement. They sent someone to her with the story, she was able to verify the story with other sources within Netflix (again the story wouldn’t be published if she couldn’t verify it with at least three sources). It was a back door way of letting us know what is happening and where we should be concentrating our efforts.
Look, I know Netflix got thousands of requests to pick up Girl Meets World. In the real world, that isn’t enough. Disney and Netflix have a very tense relationship as it is. They’ve had a tense relationship for a few years now. I have my Disney sources that say 1) Disney Channel PR is freaking out and pushing for them to either backtrack and renew GMW for a fourth season (I know for a fact that they’ve gotten a lot of complaints and parents saying they’re going to cancel their subscription to Disney/disney on demand or change their cable package to a less expensive one that doesn’t include Disney because they were only keeping it for GMW) I know that my old boss was brought in for a few sessions related to GMW’s future over the past two weeks.
Things are not as bad as they seem. Netflix is 99.9% a no go. We need to be concentrating on platforms where we actually have a chance. This means Hulu, Amazon and I know people won’t like this but it also means Disney Channel. The rights are an issue regardless of where the show goes. Even though Hulu is owned by Disney, Disney Channel would have to sell the rights to Hulu because of the way Disney, as a company is structured. Lines of Business and separate entities under the Disney umbrella do not share money. What one entity earns or owns is not transferable to another Disney entity without a contract and financial exchange (the same way one would be required if it was going to a non Disney entity). What I’m saying is that the rights matter for Hulu as much as they do for Amazon. Even if you don’t want to target Disney Channel for renewing GMW (which is a possibility) you still need to target them for selling the rights to Hulu or Amazon.
I get that Netflix was the preferred platform for a lot of people. If I could pick anywhere for GMW to live I would pick Netflix. But we’ve been given a gift. Someone at Netflix (along with Linda Ge who has been a big fan of Girl Meets World for a long time and gave us the wonderful Jacobs interview last week and only wants to help our cause) decided that the best way for our campaign to succeed is for us to have as much information as possible so we can build and execute the best campaign possible. Netflix wanted this info out so we could make our Hulu and Amazon and Disney Channel efforts stronger and not waste time or resources on a platform that isn’t feasible.
You don’t have to believe Linda and you don’t have to believe me. This post pretty clearly spells out the way things work from the corporate side of giving journalists info anonymously as well as how the editorial and publication process works. It isn’t easy to get something published by a reputable source (which Yahoo News is, FYI). What I will ask is for all of you to stop attacking Linda. I ask all of you to stop thinking you know how the journalistic process works if you’ve never worked in journalism. I will ask you to stop pretending you understand how corporations and companies release information to journalists anonymously if they want a piece of information leaked.
If you still want to target Netflix that’s your choice. However, the wisest course of action is to target Hulu, Amazon and Disney Channel with everything you have. If you want to throw Netflix in there go for it. If you forego targeting Hulu, Amazon or Disney Channel in favor of targeting Netflix you are doing a disservice to saving the show we’ve all loved for three years. Putting the show ahead of your personal beliefs and desires to see the show on one particular platform is paramount.
Let’s continue to fight together to give this show the best possible chance of survival. The cast and crew deserve that from us, let’s not disappoint them.