On April 11, Fox’s Glee aired an episode called “Shooting Star.” In it, one of the main storylines involved Becky, a member of the Cheerios and a girl with Down Syndrome, admitting that she’s afraid of the world outside of high school. During the scene, Becky reveals to main antagonist Sue Sylvester that she has a gun, and the gun accidentally goes off twice. Sue covers up the incident, telling school officials that the gun was hers. Ultimately, Sue gets fired for the incident.
Becky, played by actress Lauren Potter, is a very impressive character. The fact that Becky has Down Syndrome is not a blight on the character. She has the disorder and rocks life nonetheless. But to have Becky bring a gun to school is just garbage. For starters, Glee doing a school shooting episode is a little questionable, especially since gun violence in schools is always a hot topic. Furthermore, the episode was put together after the Newtown shooting. How do you allow the episode to still go on after that shooting? It makes it seem like a ratings ploy.
On top of that, why Becky? Why does the shooter have to be Becky?
Glee is known as a very politically correct show. All genders, sexual preferences, and disorders are given chances to shine. But it’s garbage that, of all the characters, you have Becky be the shooter.
Not only did the show seemingly make light of school shootings, but they decided to write disabled Becky as the shooter. When I watched the episode, I saw it as the writers saying that no “normal” person would bring a gun to school. Only the disabled or mentally defunct would be that crazy. Are you kidding?
And I wasn’t the only one who felt this way. The Huffington Post and NewsBusters both featured articles with comments from Twitter, pointing out that parts of the audience felt that having Becky be the shooter destroyed a great character by putting her into the same breadth of real-world school shooters like Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, and, most recently, Adam Lanza.
Becky does have Down Syndrome, yes. But the disorder doesn’t make her crazy. Suddenly, because she brought a gun to school, she can be labeled crazy. So thanks, Glee. You just took a couple steps back. And with it, the disabled society now must try to fight off more of the hate we get for being disabled. Appreciate it.