When is viral news not news, but an annoying prank? When Empire News publishes a fake story claiming that Netflix has cancelled its most adored show, Orange Is the New Black.
As a joke Empire News ran a satirical (in some minds) article, "Netflix Pulls Plug On Orange Is The New Black; The Reason Why May Shock You" with fake quotes from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings stating the reason why the show was cancelled. The most incendiary quotes: "A woman’s place is in the home, in the kitchen, taking care of children.” And: “A woman in jail? How does anyone even watch this show in the first place? It’s like we took everything bad about OZ, and make this show with the leftovers.”
Hard to believe in this day and age that a show that has done so well for its network (is Netflix now a network?) would get cancelled because of an outmoded ideal. Of course, no one took the time to step back and parse out the quote or the site it had run on. The result of this mess was that fans went insane on Twitter.
Omgeee Orange is the new black might be canceled!!!!!! Nooooooo tell me this isnt soo !!!
Would anyone really cancel a show that just garnered 12 (!!) Emmy nominations? Would they cancel, then delete both seasons on September 1 as stated in the article? Do corporations not want to make money? No. No. No. A thousand times no.
Sites like Mediaite and The Wrap unraveled the joke, and Netflix has confirmed that there will be a Season 3:
Orange Is The New Black has NOT been canceled. Whoever started this rumor will be spending some time in the SHU. pic.twitter.com/tslCdjBkht
The problem is that Empire News, a self-described "satirical and entertainment site," wrote the story in a tone of absolutely straight news coverage. Their about page states that they "only use invented names in all our stories, except in cases when public figures are being satirized," but it's really, really hard to see the satire here, especially out of context. If you're not familiar with the site (and let's face it, most of us aren't), you're going to get suckered into this prank.
Empire News may have gotten pushed their numbers up for the day, but how many people, who are now so angry about the hoax, will ever go back to the site?
To recap: OITNB is safe for its third season. Empire News pulled off a pretty amazing stunt. We can all relax and wait for the new adventures of Piper, Taystee, Alex, Red, and the rest of the amazing cast next season.
The next time you hear an outrageous news story—don't panic, don't react. Step back and see if a reputable (read established and well known) news site is reporting the same thing. If it's not, it's more than likely a stunt pulled by someone desperate for readers.
Editrix-Queen of Style
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