The wounds are still fresh from the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, but Glee decided to push the envelope by running an episode that depicted a school shooting, much to the surprise of its entire audience.
“Shooting Star” touched a nerve with many of the Newtown victims. Parents were upset that FOX did not give any one a heads up about the specifics beforehand and critics say it was insensitive and too realistic for children who are still recovering from the traumatic event.
There seem to be some conflicting reports, however, because there’s also word that the Newtown superintendent emailed families to warn them.
Furthermore, Glee flashed a disclaimer on the screen explaining that the episode would depict school violence.
“I don’t need to see an episode of Glee where they’re tackling this sort of thing,” Carson agreed. “There’s almost a sort of, not glorification of it, but it’s just like why even put it out there…in the consciousness that school shootings are one day going to be something that we all have to learn to deal with? We should treat them all like horrific one-offs and just assume and hope it could never happen again.”
The controversial decision to air this content reminded Carson of his days at MTV after another infamous school shooting: Columbine.
“We pulled videos. One comes to mind: It was “Blind” by Korn, if you recall that bullet. It’s actually a cool video because of the photography. The bullet is slow motion going through things. So of course, we yanked that video.”
On the other hand, some are arguing that we need to tackle issues like this on national television for educational purposes.
“If a kid watches this or a parent watches this, it creates dialogue in the house that could be deemed preparation so you’re better prepared should you hear shots,” Carson reasoned.
“In [creator] Ryan Murphy’s defense, I think that this was written before any of that happened, but still, at this point, let’s just pull this episode. It doesn’t need to be there,” Angie argued.
“I love Ryan Murphy,” Carson said. “I love the work that they do. I love when they do tackle things like [bullying on Glee] because it makes conversation the next day. Those conversations are ultimately important in the process of healing and educating people.”
“The only people who have a say in this, to me, are parents in Newtown, Connecticut,” he added. “However they feel should be the general consensus of how we as a nation should feel. And if they’re okay with it, then maybe we should be okay with it.”
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