You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Glee’ Risks Taking Aim at Gun-Control Debate

Glee” wades into the gun-control debate on Thursday night, and by now, nobody should be surprised by the show’s politics. That said, there’s a moment in what’s otherwise a rather taut “very special episode” that illustrates why those who complain about liberal bias — an easily riled bunch as it is — occasionally have a point.

Without giving anything away, in the midst of discussing guns one of the characters refers to “gun yahoos,” citing those concerned President Obama is going to revoke their 2nd Amendment rights.

Obviously, such a mentality exists, and the reaction to Obama’s rather modest gun-control proposals in some quarters has clearly bordered on hysteria. Or as Jon Stewart put it on “The Daily Show,” “It looks like a ‘tyrant’ is anyone sworn to protect the Constitution that you didn’t vote for.”

That said, this wasn’t a CNN forum or the op-ed page of the New York Times. It was a frothy Fox dramedy known primarily for teen hookups and covers of popular songs. Yet if you tuned in hoping simply to enjoy the performance of “More Than Words” and happen to be part of the rather sizable contingent that believes the 2nd Amendment precludes any sort of gun-curbing legislation, you were lumped in with the “yahoos,” without any sort of pushback to the comment.

It’s a small example, granted, but emblematic of one of the most frequent gripes registered from conservatives about “liberal Hollywood:” Not the themed episodes or movies tackling an issue in overt fashion, necessarily (although they’re generally not fans of those either), but what amount to casual asides and throwaway lines they perceive as insults and attacks on their views. While such reactions are often overblown, it’s difficult to construe “yahoos” any other way.

Of course, this sensitivity has birthed groups devoted to letter-writing campaigns over any perceived slight, and at times a desire by networks to shy away from hot-button issues, which is hardly a solution. Someone like “Glee” co-creator Ryan Murphy has certainly earned the right to express himself within the context of his shows, in the same way writer-producer David E. Kelley frequently does. That’s also a strategy to keep shows interesting and relevant as they age.

Nevertheless, execs and producers shouldn’t be surprised when gun-rights advocates — or some other constituency feeling affronted in a similar manner — get their backs up over such moments, filing them away as evidence of Hollywood’s disdain for them.

“Glee’s” effort to join the current debate is timely, promotable and even laudable. But in these polarized, partisan times — where ideologues are always on the lookout for something to rally the base — there’s more at work here than the inevitable “Shut up and sing” response. Because by labeling those with whom it disagrees “yahoos,” the show has given gun advocates the last thing they need: More ammunition.

More TV

  • The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

    TV News Roundup: 'The Daily Show with Trevor Noah' to Air Live After Democratic Debates

    In today’s roundup, Trevor Noah announces two live specials after the first Democratic debates and the new season of “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” sets a premiere date. SPECIALS “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” will broadcast live following the Democratic Party’s first 2020 presidential primary debates on June 26 and 27 at 11 p.m. ET on Comedy Central. [...]

  • Agents Accuse Writers Guild of Refusing

    Writers Guild 'Plans to Respond' to Agents' Proposal as Frustration Mounts

    In a sign of increasing frustration, Hollywood agents have accused the Writers Guild of America of foot-dragging in the bitter two-month dispute. “It has become clear as more days pass that the Guild is not interested in making a deal,” said the negotiating committee for the agents in statement issued Tuesday. “Over the past year, [...]

  • Samantha Bee Variety

    Samantha Bee Isn't Thrilled to Be the Last Woman Standing in Late Night

    Samantha Bee is now the only female host in late night, and that’s a stat she’s not happy about. “It’s a bit unsettling,” Bee recently told Variety. “It’s been a bad year to be a woman in this space. It’s not really a badge that I want to wear.” Shows that have been canceled over [...]

  • XXXTentacion

    Watch a Trailer for New XXXTentacion Documentary

    A year to the day after rapper XXXTentacion was murdered, his estate has released a trailer for an upcoming documentary on the artist, which the announcement says is “releasing soon.” The clip, which includes narration from X himself, captures quick flashes of him reuniting with family and friends, engaging with fans, and working on music. In the [...]

  • The-Saddest-Goal

    Fascism and Fútbol Feature in Chilean Series Project ‘The Saddest Goal’

    PAMPLONA, Spain – Chilean production company Manufactura de Películas pitched its unconventional Pinochet-era drama “The Saddest Goal” today at Spain’s Conecta Fiction TV co-production and networking TV event, held in Pamplona. Set during qualification for the 1974 FIFA World Cup, a period of great political instability in Chile, “The Saddest Goal” kicks off as the [...]

  • Spain’s La Claqueta, Portugal’s SPi Ink

    Conecta Fiction: La Claqueta and SPi Ink Fiction Co-Production Pact

    Spain’s Seville-based shingle La Claqueta and Portugal’s SPi have clinched a co-development agreement for three fiction projects a year. Companies first made contact at last year’s Conecta Fiction, the annual co-production meet in Spain. The companies have also pacted to co-produce the animated feature-length docu “El viaje más largo” in collaboration with Portuguese pubcaster RTP [...]

  • Eliza Clark

    'Y: The Last Man' Series at FX Hires Eliza Clark as New Showrunner

    The FX series based on “Y: The Last Man” has found its new showrunner. Eliza Clark has been named showrunner, writer, and executive producer on the upcoming series — which is titled simply “Y” — based on the graphic novels by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra. She takes over from original showrunners Michael Green [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content