In the wake of national tragedies, we all grieve differently. Screaming into pillows, writing our elected officials, sharing that one Onion article again — these are all options. But according to Abbott Elementary creator and star Quinta Brunson, a lot of people are choosing a quirky new coping mechanism: demanding a school-shooting episode of her popular ABC sitcom. “Wild how many people have asked for a school shooting episode of the show I write,” Brunson tweeted. “People are that deeply removed from demanding more from the politicians they’ve elected and are instead demanding ‘entertainment.’” In the short thread that followed, Brunson shared a screenshot of one such request, where the anonymous posters says she needs to “formulate an angle that would get our government to understands why laws need to pass.” If a school-shooting episode of a TV show could get meaningful gun-control legislation passed, why didn’t it happen when Glee did it?
Sitcom episodes that tackle serious subjects have a tendency to warp the memory of the show. Saved by the Bell’s “I’m So Excited” moment, or that episode of Boy Meets World where Shawn joins a cult, they push other softer eps out of the collective pop-culture memory. The anonymous DM-er says they believe Abbott Elementary can effect change, but Brunson feels the people who need to make the changes are the officials that have been elected to do so. “Please use that energy to ask your elected official to get on Beto time and nothing less,” she tweeted. “I’m begging you.”