How Anne With An E Fans' Giant Backlash Against Netflix Affected Canadian TV Channel

anne with an e season 3 netflix
(Image credit: Netflix)

Anne with an E delivered a fresh and surprisingly modern take on characters created by Canadian author L.M. Montgomery for her classic Anne of Green Gables book series, and the show amassed a loyal fandom over its three seasons. Unfortunately, the show produced as a joint venture between Netflix and the Canadian Broadcasting Company was cancelled back in November 2019 before Season 3 could even make its Netflix premiere, and fans were not happy. In fact, the Anne with an E cancellation backlash has affected CBC ever since.

Although the cancellation of Anne with an E came not long after news broke that Netflix and CBC were breaking up, the beloved series being axed by the coproducers nevertheless shocked a lot of people. A lot of viewers took to social media shortly after after the series was cancelled to vent their feelings, but the outrage didn't die down after just a few days, to the misfortune of CBC.

A group called AWAE Fan Projects started a campaign with the goal of an Anne with an E renewal, and The Guardian reports that members began swarming the comments sections of CBC news stories and tweets with calls for another season. At the time of writing, 13 million AWAE tweets directed at CBC (and Netflix) went live on social media.

The inundation of Anne with an E posts on CBC tweets evidently got so serious that the Canadian broadcaster felt compelled to take action to cut down on Anne fans' comments on unrelated articles reaching a large audience. The official CBC Twitter account posted this:

In order to keep our comment threads on their intended topics, all future Anne-related comments on unrelated posts will be hidden

Unsurprisingly, the comments following that tweet from CBC were filled with Anne with an E fans repeating their demand for a fourth season of the series, even quoting one of Anne Shirley-Cuthbert's most memorable lines to support the case for more Anne. Interestingly, the call for more Anne with an E isn't limited to CBC and Netflix potentially reversing the decision to cancel, but for the rights to be sold to another outlet for a revival.

It has happened before, with Netflix itself stepping in to rescue Lucifer and Amazon saving The Expanse as two examples. Anne with an E showrunner Moira Walley-Beckett also suggested the possibility of a feature film at some point, which has also happened at Netflix, which ordered a wrap-up movie for Sense8 after cancelling that series.

That said, Moira Walley-Beckett took to Instagram back in December 2019 to reveal that the AWAE team fought for the show, tried to change minds, looked for a new home for the show, and tried their best for a finale movie, adding:

But it’s impossible to argue with words like Economics, Algorithms, Demographics, etc., etc. But those words and others like them are the reason why the Networks don’t want to continue. And we didn’t find a taker anywhere else.

Unfortunately for the fans who have been working toward a potential future for Anne with an E, efforts may be futile at this point. Still, the Season 3 finale arguably worked as a series finale. Anne got some closure about her birth parents, the will-they-won't-they Anne/Gilbert romance finally happened, and Anne was happily looking ahead to the next chapter in her life.

Are there still dangling plot threads? Absolutely, but at least there was some resolution on some of the biggest stories. The first three seasons of Anne with an E are currently available streaming on Netflix, along with plenty of other options.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).