Netflix cancels ‘Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj’ as critics mourn loss of South Asian representation
Comedian Hasan Minhaj announced on Twitter on Tuesday that his award-winning Netflix talk show, patriotic act, ends after six seasons, amid cancellations of the streamer’s original content that some critics say is a loss of representation for the world’s largest streaming service.
Tuesday morning, Minhaj tweeted:
The announcement was greeted with surprise and sadness by social media users, and a Change.org petition has already collected 2,000 signatures to save patriotic act while critics mourned the loss of representation of Minhaj, whose family is from northern India and practices Islam.
Netflix weighs viewers against costs when making renewal decisions and has struggled to do well in the talk show category, a source familiar with the cancellation decision said. Forbes.
Other Netflix-produced talk shows starring comedians Michelle Wolf, Chelsea Handler and Joel McHale have all been canceled, with Wolf and McHale only lasting one season each.
Another previous Netflix cancellation, the beloved 2017 Cuban-American reboot of the soap opera One day at a time– was lamented as a loss of representation of Latinx, which Netflix said at the time was not “an indication that your story is not important”.
“It’s a shame” wrote cultural critic Soraya Nadia McDonald on Twitter. “Hasan was doing something necessary and special, and speaking with such authority and clarity about South Asians issues. Hasan called the Asian anti-blackness with passion and fervor. Such a precious voice.
Netflix canceled Turkish relationship drama If only in July after producers were denied a filming license by the country’s government because the show featured a gay character.
patriotic act premiered in 2018, the year after Minhaj gave the opening address at the White House Correspondents Association dinner, a traditional venue where comedians roast Washington politicians and the current presidential administration. (Wolf’s Netflix show was launched after her barnstormer of a performance at dinner 2018). In its first season, patriotic act made waves with an episode about Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who allegedly ordered the assassination and dismemberment of Washington post journalist and Saudi native Jamal Khashoggi. This episode is no longer available on the Saudi Arabia Netflix platform. Subsequent episodes of the 2019 Indian and Philippine general elections have also sparked controversy in each country’s government. patriotic act won an Emmy, a Peabody, and two Webby Awards. Its 39 episodes will remain available for streaming on Netflix.
Hasan Minhaj on telling jokes without a ‘safety net’ (The Wall Street Journal)
Hasan Minhaj on the wildest dreams of his ancestors (The New Yorker)