I’ll confess I’ve been caught up in the Glee craze since season one. It’s fun and cheesy and over the top just like me. Plus, I enjoy the music (and occasionally my daughter does, too). I didn’t watch this Thursday’s episode until last night, and because I caught it on Hulu there was no “trigger warning” at the beginning like when it aired live. So just when I thought it was going to be one of the series’ milder episodes, we hear gunshots ring out and see the students in the choir room break out into panic. Although I thought the aftermath of the shooting was decently executed, I did feel uncomfortable with the whole thing. As it turns out, Newtown parents weren’t so thrilled about it either.
Andrew Paley, whose children survived the shooting at Sandy Hook, appeared on CNN on Friday to complain that no one from “Glee” or its network, Fox, reached out to warn the people of Newtown about the content of the episode.
“We have no problem, at least the parents I’ve spoken to, that they aired an episode that had a school shooting,” Paley said. “What’s really upsetting is that no one, none of the producers, reached out to the town of Newtown to let us residents, who are so close to this, know that this episode was airing and that if anybody is a fan of ‘Glee’… it would have been a shocker to them if they didn’t know what the episode was about.”
Although the article goes on to say that a Newtown Victims’ Advocacy Group did warn citizens about the upcoming episode, I agree with Paley that it was insensitive of Ryan Murphy and the other Glee creators not to reach out and warn Newtown personally. Historically, Glee’s script has run parallel to current issues, which I think jump starts interesting conversations among viewers. But the way they handled this particular issue makes it seem like they’re using one of our country’s most horrific recent tragedies solely for their own profit.
Sorry guys, but this episode was just a little too much too soon.