Patriot Act With Hasan Minaj Got Cancelled on Netflix and Fans Find the Timing Hella Suspicious

Netflix has announced that the popular show, The Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj will no longer be airing.

Minhaj broke the news on Twitter, saying, “I got to work with the best writers, producers, researchers, and animators in the game. My 2 babies were born and grew up with the show. TY to @Netflix and everyone who watched.”

“Patriot Act” had premiered on the streaming service in October 2018 and released 39 episodes. What turned out to be the show’s final episode was released in June 2020.

In 2019, the series won a Peabody Award and an Emmy for outstanding motion design.

Mihnaj’s tweet, announcing the cancellation of the show, however, doesn’t seem like a ‘beautiful’ end to a series: it seems abrupt, halted and snipped in the middle.

When Minhaj’s show first debuted in 2018, it brought to the streaming platform what had never been done before: A millennial Muslim Indian-American comic, born to immigrant parents, calling out real-time issues and problems.

The topics he spoke about were pertinent: Elections, climate change, capitalism, immigration, but all of them disguised in the garb of almost being comedy. Minaj’s shows were a take on call-out culture in the best way: he challenged federations and large companies by revealing actual facts about them, and padding the content with humour so the audience listened.

Minhaj’s narrative of being a brown Muslim kid in America also stood out – when he spoke about his immigrant experiences, being a brown kid, his “other”-ing juxtaposed with his love for sneakers. He had the ability to make audiences feel uncomfortable whether he was talking about clothing brands like Supreme, or the murder of a journalist in Saudi Arabia.

After Minhaj’s tweet, Netizens on Twitter weren’t very pleased (with Netflix). They saw the show being cancelled as what it really was – a person-of-color’s perspective being halted.

They also found the timing ironic, as it was happening when for the first time, an Indian-American was running for the post of the Vice President in the USA.

There’s also a petition to bring it back, which now has over close to 6,000 people signed of the original 7,500 goal.

While we don’t know if a change.org petition is enough to bring the show back, it does show that the show mattered enough for people to not let it go “gentle into that good night.”

In an interview with Variety, Minhaj said he made Patriot Act (which was co-written by another Indian-American, Prashanth Venkataramanujam), being inspired by the “immigrant hustle mentality.” Minhaj says, “We came in the same way our parents came in. If you’re not gonna let us in through the door, we’re coming in through the window.”

Patriot Act has joined a long list of Netflix’s show by people of colour, which have unfortunately not made the cut. Tuca and Bertie, Fresh Off the Boat are just some to name. And also ironic, at a time when Netflix on social media sells the campaign of supporting ‘Black Lives Matter’ and how diverse and liberal they are.

Patriot Act was perhaps the breakout on a streaming platform we needed, and the cancellation of the show perhaps proves a strange point: Streaming platforms don’t care for the nuanced, real experience of immigrants, or people of color. They’re content in selling us shows like Indian Matchmaking, which every Indian cringed at, because shows like those don’t make an impact. Patriot Act did, and it will be missed.


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