A couple of weeks back we learned some interesting details about the upcoming season of Fox’s Glee. Obviously, much has happened since new episodes of the show last aired and Cory Monteith’s tragic passing has been on everyone’s minds, especially with the new season approaching. Now at the beginning of the month Glee creator Ryan Murphy came out and said that they were working on a tribute episode, and that Cory’s Glee character would be written out of the show using an actual drug abuse storyline. He is now coming out and saying that he’s had a change of heart, and feels like such an episode would be ultimately be ‘really exploitative.’ Click inside to read about the new plans for Cory’s tribute. It’s very different from what we were expecting.
Deadline has the exclusive statement from Ryan Murphy:
It’s been a difficult circumstance because we basically went straight from the memorial into [reworking] the two Beatles episodes, Ryan Murphy which I think are fun and optimistic, that we had always had planned. The hard part for all of us is that the past week we’ve been holed up writing the memorial episode. There were a lot of things that we had to decide — how are we going to deal with his death? At one point, we were going to have his character die after an accidental drug overdose — that was something we had considered. But we have decided that we’re not going to have him pass from that. Basically, what we’re doing in the episode is we are not telling you yet, or maybe not at all, how that character died. Cory Monteith. The idea being, how somebody died is interesting and maybe morbid, but we say very early on in the episode, “This episode is about a celebration of that character’s life.” That might be weird for some people, but it felt really exploitative to do it any other way. The cast and crew have had solace in being together. They’ve been holed up doing those Beatles numbers. There’s been tears on set. It’s been hard for a lot of people. But the really difficult thing is coming. We start shooting the memorial episode this week. We’re just now finishing it, and at the end of the week we’ll send it to [the studio 20th Century Fox Television] to get their approvals. But I think it turned out to be a lovely tribute, and it’s a very heartfelt look at how young people grieve. After that, we’re going to take two weeks or three weeks down to get our heads together because it’s been a really hard thing to write. We loved Cory and we loved Finn and it feels like a huge loss and a huge heartache not to have either of them around. We’re trying to craft an episode that’s not just about us grieving but about a lot of the young fans grieving.
Many of you thought the original idea was a good one, and that it might inspire conversations about drug use that need to happen. Clearly, they’ve decided to avoid that altogether. I mean, for Murphy to say that they might not even make the cause of Finn’s death clear to viewers is a little strange to me.
Does this sound like a total cop-out to you? Obviously, it would have been really hard, and really trying to film the tribute episode they’d originally had planned. And to focus on celebrating someone’s life is never a bad thing. But I guess– even as someone who doesn’t watch the show– it saddens me a bit to see them backing away from an opportunity to speak to an important issue.
However, I’m sure they know their audience well, and maybe this is the best decision they could make for the show. What do you guys think?