The gunshots heard by students and teachers inside the school were an accident, but “Glee” characters hid in classrooms and bathrooms, some crying and recording messages to loved ones. A disclaimer before the episode advised viewer discretion because the episode “addresses the topic of school violence.”
A resident of Newtown, Conn., where 20 children and six faculty members were killed during a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, told the Newtown Bee newspaper that he wished the team behind “Glee” had warned those in Newtown about what would be coming on the show. Andrew Paley is friends with Michael Slezak of TVLine.com, who saw a screener of the episode and warned him the storyline might be too much for those in the town.
“I think it’s terrible that the writers and producers of that show didn’t think to contact someone in Newtown to let us know this was coming,” Paley said. “A lot of people watch that show. They shouldn’t be upset by it.”
An anonymous Fox source told the New York Daily News that the episode had been planned since before the Newtown tragedy.
However, some on Twitter were unsettled by the episode’s content.
One user named Ximena Covarrubia (@ximena_g_c) tweeted, “I was crying like a baby while watching shooting star!!”