Bones Episode Pulled Due to Tragedy

Posted by: Jerrica

This week’s episode of "Bones" was supposed to be "Player Under Pressure" about a college basketball player who is killed, but in light of the recent tragedy at Virginia Tech, Fox has pulled the episode. Promos were immediately replaced, as anyone watching the series premiere of "Drive" and the episode of "24" that followed this week might have noticed. The new primetime previews were for a repeat of the episode "Aliens in a Spaceship," which aired in November.

According to Zap2It, it’s yet to be seen whether or not Fox will air the original episode "Player Under Pressure." Zap2It quoted a spokesperson for the network.

"Out of sensitivity to the victims and families touched by this senseless tragedy, we felt the change was appropriate."

The Virginia Tech shootings were the bloodiest attacks upon a school in the history of the U.S. As was the case after the shootings at Columbine High School, the last attack to receive this kind of national attention but certainly not the latest in the U.S. and Canada, the entertainment industry is taking steps to ensure that entertainment does not pour salt on a real wound. This is an unfortunate but also understandable result of the ripple effect this news has on the nation, and in this case, television audiences.

This seems typical procedure now, sadly. An episode of "Buffy" called "Earshot" was delayed after the shootings at Columbine. After 9/11, the premieres of both "Smallville" and ironically "24" were delayed due to the tragedies.

But in a far more excessive move back in 2001, the Twin Towers were not only wiped from existence in life but in films of the time. It was made impossible to find the original teaser trailer for "Spider-Man" containing footage of the Towers after the attacks, and the trailer wasn’t even included on the DVD when it was released. In some ways, this kind of permanent suppression may actually be more insensitive, especially considering this is some of the last footage ever of the World Trade Center buildings before their collapse.

While pulling the "Bones" episode immediately was completely appropriate, filing it away forever seems rather extreme and sounds like an overreaction. Albeit, this is a sensitive issue in America today, but, in my opinion, if Fox decides not to air the episode at all for some reason, as has been the case with "Spider-Man" and other such cases in the past (at least "24" did eventually air not too long after 9/11), there comes a point where sensitivity turns to denial and may eventually turn to the point of being insulting rather than considerate.

As for right now, consideration is certainly called for as the country is still in mourning for the victims of this tragedy, and Fox is showing due respect.


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