Australian comic Celeste Barber has criticised Netflix after her show Wellmania was cancelled after one season.
Notably, Barber rose to prominence in 2015 after her parodies of wellness influences went viral. In Wellmania, the Australian comedy-drama based on the Brigid Delaney book, Barber plays Liv, a woman about to turn 40 who switches to a wellness lifestyle after a health scare.
Wellmania arrived on Netflix this March and received a warm reception, drawing comparisons to hit shows like Fleabag. Yet despite the acclaim, on Tuesday (October 31st), Barber announced that the show would not be returning for a second season, despite reports.
“Hi friends. I just wanted to check in and give you a little update and let you know that Wellmania will not be renewed for another season,” Barber explained in an Instagram video. She conceded that it isn’t big news “in the grand scheme of things, with what is going on in the world at the moment”, but added, “Who f***ing cares?”
Barber continued: “But a lot of you do care. A lot of you are still asking me about it, what’s happening. So yeah, we found out yesterday that it’s not going to be renewed. Netflix said it’s something about numbers. Sure. I thought it smashed it but I don’t understand how it works.”
The comedian then thanked her fans for their “love and support”, expressing: “The way it was received was so overwhelming, so I’m bummed that I can no longer explore that excellent character… A lot of you said to me you saw yourself in my character and wanted to see more of her but this industry is kind of bullshit.” Concluding her heartfelt message, she instructed fans to “kiss your babies” and watch Friends, before sending a little dig at the streaming site: “But maybe not on Netflix though.”
Barber was met with a mass of support in the comment section of the video, with Hollywood icon Sharon Stone offering some kind words of advice to her. “Keep going,” she wrote. “I haven’t been renewed in decades so who really cares?”