Want An Abbott Elementary School Shooting Episode? (You're Not Getting One)
We all know by now what happened in Texas. And by now we’ve all formulated our response. It’s not like this is the first time such a thing has happened, unfortunately. We’ve had too much practice. Hopefully we all began by feeling a deep sense of loss and empathy for all those affected by a terrible act of violence.
But for many people, there has been a secondary response, and that’s what Abbott Elementary creator and star Quinta Brunson addressed with this tweet:
Some people would call what she’s describing here the very definition of ‘slacktivism’.
Instead of taking a decisive action like contacting an elected representative and demanding that they actively take steps, ANY STEPS, towards making sure horrors like this don’t happen any more, people are pestering Quinta Brunson to make an episode of her show about it.
To what end? To raise awareness of school shootings? Do not enough people know about the problem? Here’s an example she gave:
That person calls for the episode to be the series finale, so like in three or six seasons we’ll get back to it?
She also qualified her response, expressing that the intention was not to simply bag on these people:
On the one hand, they are certainly well-intentioned, but It’s hard to argue with what she’s saying. There’s a sadness and frustration you can feel ebbing off her tweets.
As a nation, we’ve devolved to the point where people think a good civic reaction to an ongoing, yet preventable national tragedy is to hit up the creator of an ABC comedy on Twitter so the show can affect policy change.
Think about that for a minute - Does anybody really believe that if only there had been a workplace shooting episode of The Office, those horrors would be behind us by now?
No, the entertainment sector cannot move the needle on this problem, but it sure feels like The Onion is throwing a Hail Mary to try. They’ve devoted their entire homepage to rerunning every instance of their ‘No Way To Prevent This, Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens’ school shooting running commentary. That’s apex-Onion.
It’s a sobering thing to see, but it won’t be enough, just like an episode of Abbott Elementary won’t be enough - the only thing that will be enough is when we all say, “enough.”
And sadly, that just hasn’t happened yet.