'Our Flag Means Death' fans buy Times Square billboard to save the show

(L) 'Our Flag Means Death' billboard and (R) Steve Bonnet and Blackbeard
(L) 'Our Flag Means Death' billboard and (R) Steve Bonnet and Blackbeard

In an attempt to save the gay pirate show Our Flag Means Death, loyal fans of the beloved series have banded together to put up a billboard in Times Square demanding the return show for its planned third and final season.

The popular show — about the swashbuckling adventures of the "Gentleman Pirate" Stede Bonnet (Rhys Darby) as he learns to be a pirate and ends up falling in love with Blackbeard (Taika Waititi) — has resonated with queer fans who identified with the diverse LGBTQ+ cast of characters.

Now, this devoted fan base has channeled their disappointment that Our Flag Means Death was canceled after only two seasons into a mission to save the show.

In the short time since HBO gave the show the ax, the X group (formerly Twitter) Renew as a Crew — #SaveOFMD, raised money for a digital billboard in Times Square reading "Save Our Flag Means Death," along with the web address renewasacrew.com, that will appear for the next two days.

The group also started a Change.org petition with over 62,000 signatures as of this writing. "The news of Our Flag Means Death's cancellation is deeply disappointing," the petition reads. "Creator David Jenkins envisioned a three-season saga, and if the production team is determined for another voyage, we stand by, ready to support. Time to retrieve our leathers and brace ourselves for battle!"

The petition highlights the success of the show, pointing out that it "dethroned Max's top original series, Euphoria, and maintained its position as the network's #1 show for seven consecutive weeks" and that the show's LGBTQ+ representation is a large part of why it's so important to fans.

"The show's genuine, unapologetic, and nuanced exploration of identity, acceptance, and the search for belonging sets it apart from other representations of the queer experience in TV and film," the petition continues. "For many, this series represents a watershed moment, potentially marking the first time they feel truly seen, understood, and embraced. This connection with an oft-marginalized audience offers a chance not only to empower a community but also to engage with the economic potential of this market."

HBO Max Chief Casey Bloys said the show was canceled because the "numbers weren't there" but gave fans hope, saying it could potentially find a new home. "But I will say, whenever we cancel a show, if a creator can set it up elsewhere, we support them," Bloys told the Hollywood Reporter. "That is an option for Our Flag; it didn't make sense for us but it might be for someone else. We let the producers know if they can find a home, we'll be supportive of that."

Sadly, Out Flag Means Death is just another in a long line of queer shows that have been given the boot recently. Schmigadoon! was canceled earlier this week and shows like A League of Their Own, Grease: The Rise Of the Pink Ladies, The L Word: Generation Q, and Shadow and Bone were all axed last year.