There's really only one word to describe the demeanor in my living room during the Glee school shooting episode last night: uncomfortable. At one point I caught my husband staring with his mouth wide open. And we have -- fortunately -- been untouched by the mass shootings that have occurred in America in recent years. So I could only imagine what was going on in Newtown, Connecticut last night.
The Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy is less than four months old. And before the "Shooting Star" episode began, the folks in Newtown had no warning.
At least, not officially. No one in the Glee camp, it seems, reached out to the folks in Connecticut to give them a heads up.
Instead it was Michael Slezak, senior editor of TVLine.com, who happens to have a friend who lives in Newtown and decided to break the code of protecting spoilable plotlines when given advance notice of TV content. Michael Slezak contacted his friend, Andrew Paley, because he felt it was the right thing to do. Paley spread the word around town.
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Good for Michael Slezak. Good for Andrew Paley.
But WTF Glee?
The show used a national tragedy for ratings, and the producers didn't have the decency to give the people most affected by that tragedy a heads up? That's more unsettling than the concept behind the episode itself. At least the folks behind Glee can argue that the show is meant to spread awareness of an American issue.
But what happened to a little human compassion? As Paley, whose children attend Sandy Hook, told his local NBC affiliate:
Glee producers had the right to air it, but a heads up would have been nice. We're going through a healing phase right now and without giving us any kind of warning, it's going to open up wounds we're trying to close right now.
Sure, the show began with a warning that there would be "school violence" content, which might be difficult to watch. But what happens if you miss the first few seconds of the show? And what does "school violence" even mean? That could just as easily indicate some hazing as it does a shooting.
The fact remains that the folks at Glee dropped the ball here. All it took was one call to the Newtown Bee or a call to the district superintendent, and a lot of folks in Connecticut ... heck, a lot of folks in AMERICA ... would be much happier with the show today.
Do you think the folks in Newtown were owed a heads up by the powers that be at Glee?
Image via Fox