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Don’t apologize for the Emmy plane-crash skit… August 29, 2006

Posted by Thomas in General.

Good grief. Apparently people are upset by the Emmy’s opening skit that involved a plane crash because it came so suddenly after the Kentucky crash.

Ok, I can understand that the timing may not have been great, but are we all so over-sensitive these days that we can’t just laugh at a spoof of “Lost”? It’s not like they were intentionally lampooning the tragic death of 40+ people. I think calling it “cringe-inducing” as the L.A. Times did, is a bit over-the-top. Cringe-inducing would have been a Saturday Night Live skit on September 22nd, 2001, featuring a “my parachute won’t open” gag for a guy jumping off the World Trade Center. That would have been actually horrible and truly cringe-inducing.

Fox pulled an episode of Family Guy last year because it used the word “hurricane” a few times and it was so soon after Katrina. Granted, Family Guy has no fear in being truly offensive, but the episode was animated 6 months before Katrina was even a tropical depression. There was no malicious intent.

So why is this something that NBC should apologize for? There were over 40,000 fatalities in car crashes last year, but “House” and “ER” and “Grey’s Anatomy” aren’t pulling car-crash-related episodes. Why not?

That’s 109 dead people each day, and if we say it’s insensitive within a time period, let’s say a week, that’s 763 families that could possibly be offended by any of those shows’ car-crash episodes. That’s many more potentially offended people than the 40 families of the victims of the Kentucky crashes. But apparently, since the car fatalities aren’t nation-wide news, we don’t have to be sensitive to anonymous tragedy.

Yes, it’s awful that the people on that plane died, but since they got a national headline we have to make sure there’s nothing on TV that could offend their families?

Meanwhile, the people who die every 15 minutes in a car accident don’t get nation-wide recognition, and therefore we aren’t over-sensitive, and “ER” gets to have a 20-car pile up flood their hospital and provide a dramatic back-drop with tension and nerves for some relationship or inter-personal dilemma.

“24” premiered right after September 11th with an episode featuring the mid-air explosion of a 747. I think it’s done alright for itself since then. NBC, don’t apologize for a funny spoof’s poor timing that you had no control over.



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