Some people might read this headline and be worried about the content in Fox’s upcoming serial killer show, THE FOLLOWING. Me? I sit back in my chair, tent my fingers together and in my best Mr. Burns voice say, “Excellent!!” Has Tipper Gore been resurrected or something? Every time there’s a national tragedy the “experts” seem to successfully divert attention away from the real issue by pointing the finger and the violent content in movies, TV, and video games. Now according to Deadline.com, THE FOLLOWING is coming under attack from the Television Critics Association (TCA) for the violent content in the show.
The Following creator and exec producer Kevin Williamson was obliged to defend the jarring level of sex and violence (particularly violence) in his new Fox horror thriller as the network kicked off its day at TCA this morning. In the wake of the mass killings last year in Aurora, CO and Newtown, CT, critics peppered Williamson with questions about whether television shows like this one may be part of the problem. His general response wasn’t defensive so much as uncertain. “I think we all worry about (the violence issue),” Williamson admitted. “Who wasn’t affected by Sandy Hook? We say in the writers room after that and were all traumatized by it.” But he was somewhat befuddled over whether the graphic violence and gore of a series like The Following might contribute negatively to perceptions of violence in society. His show, after all, depicts a woman stabbing herself in the eye and strangers being randomly set afire in the street. He acknowledged that he isn’t sure if there is a cumulative effect of all of the violence on his own orientation. “I know that when I put pen to paper, it affects me, but I’m not sure how,” Williamson said. “We don’t sit around (in the writers room) and think of ways to kill people. I’m sitting and thinking of the drama. It’s meant to be a thriller and a provocative story. I guess it is a horrific and scary show but…”
I’m sorry, but this is absolutely ridiculous!! The real issue isn’t about fictional violence on TV and in movies and video games. The issue should be about how goddamn easy it is and how many goddamn guns there are in our society. TV and movie fictional guns don’t kill people … real guns in real people’s hands kill people. It’s not too long ago that Hollywood stopped putting so much tobacco use in their films (minus any Bruce Willis film). Has eliminating people smoking in movies eliminated people smoking in the real world? Not by a long shot.
The “experts” need to stop deflecting the real issues here. Until that’s done we’re going to keep having mass slayings and national tragedies. Anyway, all this talk about the level of violence in THE FOLLOWING is really getting me excited!! I can’t wait to check this one out.
I’m off my soap box now.