If Freeform thought fans of Shadowhunters were going to sit back and let them apparently make light of their online campaign to save the series – that wasn't going to happen. During an airing of a POPnKnowledge version of the Disney/Pixar film Toy Story, the cable channel jokingly referenced fans' online campaign to save the show through a "still too soon" pop-up.
The pop-up in question takes place during the scene when Woody holds up a Magic 8 Ball, asking it if Andy will pick him as the lone toy his parents will allow him to bring. The ball responds, "Don't Count On It" – and Freeform decided the scene was the perfect moment to give fans of Shadowhunters a nod and wink with a pop up that read, "Will Freeform save Shadowhunters if I keep tweeting about it?"
For the uninitiated, the network announced the abrupt cancellation of Shadowhunters before a planned final fourth season, which covers the final book of The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Claire. Not to abandon fans completely, Freeform opted to conclude the series in a definitive 2-hour TV movie to tie up the loose ends and provide closure – even if a bit rushed. Fans campaigned to save the show under "#SaveShadowhunters" to allow another network or streaming service to pick up the series for the final season.
More than anything, it speaks towards the heartless nature of the TV business sometimes and a lack of gratitude sometimes to the fans who are responsible for making shows successful in the first place. https://t.co/PxIfz5419d
— ➰Shadowhunters Austria 🇦🇹 🇪🇺 MARRIED💍MALEC ➰ (@ShadowhuntersOE) December 16, 2018
Freefrom taunts Shadowhunters fans during Toy Story over cancellation https://t.co/QXRD7mnEBd via @MattCarterMedia thanks Matt for calling attention to this unprofessional behavior by a network @WaltDisneyCo @ABCNetwork #SaveShadowhunters
— Sian265, Denise 🇺🇸 (@sian265) December 16, 2018
Even the Clockblockers – who understand what this feels like – showed their solidarity:
I can't believe they did that, and during Toy Story of all things. It was so tacky and rude to fans of both Toy Story and #Shadowhunters. I've never even seen Shadowhunters, but I hope someone shows better class and helps them out. #SaveShadowhunters
— 𝗚𝗶𝗻𝗮 🕰☂️😈😇 (@gweb77) December 16, 2018
Seeing the error of their ways – and a wave of social media backlash – Freeform has since issued an apology:
This was a mistake. We never intended to disrespect the Shadowhunters fandom. We apologize for this. https://t.co/CNz7Tv6FQ1
— Freeform (@FreeformTV) December 16, 2018
The third and final season expands to 12-episodes in spring 2019 with series finale movie Shadowhunters: The Final Hunt.