The release of “Stranger Things 4” is one of the year’s most anticipated television events, but the hit Netflix series was not spared from the sad events in Uvalde, last week. In the wake of the tragic elementary school massacre in Texas, Netflix has added a last-minute content warning to the fourth season of Stranger Things.
The warning that runs before the recently released season of Stranger Things read, “We filmed this season of Stranger Things a year ago. But given the recent tragic shooting at a school in Texas, viewers may find the opening scene of episode 1 distressing. We are deeply saddened by this unspeakable violence, and our hearts go out to every family mourning a loved one.”
Netflix also added to the description of the premiere “Warning: Contains graphic violence involving children.” Only viewers in the United States will see the disclaimer; it will not be shown worldwide.
The action comes after a catastrophic mass shooting at Robb Elementary School, Uvalda, Texas. Twenty-one people were killed in the horrific incident including 19 children and two adults. A US Border Patrol agent, one of several dispatched to the site, shot and killed the 18-year-old gunman, who also killed his grandmother, according to a senior Department of Homeland Security official.
“We chose to add the card given the proximity of the debut to this tragedy — and because the opening sequence is so brutal,” a Netflix spokeswoman explained.
Following the incident, Stranger Things’ YouTube page also pulled the original video of the first eight minutes of the Season 4 premiere, which includes gruesome images of dead kids. Last week, the clip was there, which is currently unavailable and marked “private.”
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Millie Bobbie Brown came to Instagram on Wednesday to express her sorrow over the deaths of 19 children killed earlier this week.
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“Stranger Things” isn’t the only TV show to make modifications following Tuesday’s massacre at Robb Elementary School. It was the deadliest shooting at a U.S. grade school since the 2012 incident at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
The Season 4 finale of CBS’ crime thriller “FBI” was cancelled the same day because the finale storyline involves a suspected student’s involvement in a murderous robbery. In place of the season finale, the network re-aired the show’s 12th episode, “Under Pressure,” and it’s unknown whether the program will be re-aired again in the future.
Similarly, on Tuesday night, Apple TV+ postponed a red carpet event for Season 2 of its dramedy “Physical.”
Physical’s team later issued a statement that read, “Out of respect for today’s tragedy in Texas, tonight’s screening of ‘Physical’ Season 2 will be a private event with no press. We thank you for wanting to be there with us and know that you join with us in our heartfelt support for all of the families affected by today’s event.”
The new season is divided into two sections. Season 4’s “Volume 1” will premiere on Friday, May 27, followed by “Volume 2,” the second half of the fourth season, on July 1. Many commentators have compared the current season to previous seasons, describing it as darker and scarier.
Stranger Things season four’s begins with Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Will (Noah Schnapp), and Eleven (Millie Bobbie Brown). According to the official logline, “It’s been six months since the Battle of Starcourt, which brought terror and destruction to Hawkins. Struggling with the aftermath, our group of friends are separated for the first time – and navigating the complexities of high school hasn’t made things any easier. In this most vulnerable time, a new and horrifying supernatural threat surfaces, presenting a gruesome mystery that, if solved, might finally put an end to the horrors of the Upside Down.”
Stranger Things is produced by Monkey Massacre Productions and 21 Laps Entertainment and created by Matt and Ross Duffer. Along with executive producer/director Shawn Levy and exec producer Dan Cohen of 21 Laps and exec producer Iain Paterson, the twin brothers act as writers, directors, executive producers, and showrunners on the series.