The debate over gun control has swept over the United States, following the devastation of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, the 18th shooting on a school campus or school this year alone. Since then, the country has been swept up in important deliberations regarding the future of gun control.
As TV Line writes, the impact of the Parkland, Florida school shooting has reached even actors in Hollywood, including the star of NBC's The Blacklist, Megan Boone. The Parkland tragedy hit the actress close to home, as she was raised in Florida herself. Channeling her emotions into action and impact of her role, Boone committed to public change when she took to Twitter to show her commitment to supporting those affected by the tragedy.
On the show, Liz Keen almost always favours a handgun to a rifle, though she has occasionally been seen with heavier firepower like an AK-47.
Fans of the show had mixed responses to Boone’s tweet, some arguing that she should be creating a work of fiction that is separate from the current events of the world. One fan even tweeted in response, asking why an FBI agent wouldn’t carry an assault rifle. Though she didn’t reply to many responses to her initial tweet, Boone did comment back to this particular question, sharing that “I am not SWAT.”
But despite the pushback that some fans gave, others gave Boone their support, seeing her decision as important recognition of the impact that real world events have on everyone, even in a work of fiction.
The Blacklist isn’t the only show that features a heavily-armed protagonist. But the responsibility that shows have taken in recent months (like with The Punisher halting Comic-Con promotion of the show after the Las Vegas shooting) to responsibly tackle the subject as gun control becomes more of a prominent issue shows that it’s not enough to just have a character wielding a gun. As representations increases so does the responsibility to take social impact into account to what messages that representation could have on others.
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