As of Thursday morning, more than 190,000 people have signed a petition demanding that the “Peanuts” holiday specials return to network television rather than air on the Apple TV+ streaming service.
Earlier this month, it was announced that all three “Peanuts” holiday specials — “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” — would only be available on Apple TV.
Wildbrain Studios, the world’s largest independent kids’ content company, said that Apple TV+ would be the exclusive home for the holiday movies. Non-subscribers would be able to watch the films for free during certain dates.
The online petition, started by a man named Michael Nebbia, declared that “we are telling Apple and Wildbrain Studios that we will not fall for their corporate greed.”
“For over 50 years, we have celebrated the holidays with the airings of the Peanuts holiday specials on TV – first on CBS, then on ABC,” the petition reads.
“To our shock and dismay, last night it was announced that Apple had swiped the football from us and claimed the specials for their Apple TV platform, leaving us devoted fans who have grown up with Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang in the dark, unable to watch.”
The goal of the petition is to convince Wildbrain to allow people everywhere to watch the “Peanuts” holiday specials for free. The movies should not be trapped behind a paywall. Viewers have every right to enjoy Charlie Brown and his gang free of charge.
“The time for saying ‘Good Grief’ is over. Now’s the time to take action. Now’s the time to fight back! Do it for Charlie Brown and for Peanuts fans everywhere, young and old,” the petition concluded.
Currently, all three films are slated to air for free on Apple TV+ for three days around their respective holidays.
The decision to move the “Peanuts” specials to Apple TV+ sparked outrage from Christians as well. Linus’ speech in “A Charlie Brown Christmas” provided one of the only remaining biblical accounts of the birth of Christ on public television.
The popular streaming service will also feature other “Peanuts” related content, including a second season of “Snoopy in Space.”
The platform will also air new specials focused on Mother’s Day, Earth Day, and New Year’s Eve, in addition to “The Snoopy Show,” which is scheduled to premiere in February 2021.