NBC has made the snap decision to bump an episode of its hot-button sitcom “The Carmichael Show” following a pair of fatal shootings in the U.S. on Wednesday, pulling the scheduled episode — which deals with the aftermath deadly gun violence — and replacing it instead with a episode focusing on a lesbian wedding.
TV Guide reports that NBC made the decision following two incidents that took place on Wednesday: a disgruntled liberal angry at Donald Trump’s election opened fire at Republican lawmakers in Virginia while they practices for a charity baseball game, injuring four; and a shooter in San Francisco murdered three people at a UPS facility before taking his own life.
The show’s star, Jerrod Carmichael, criticized the network’s decision in an interview with “Chelsea” on Netflix. He said the episode “would have an opportunity to talk about these tragedies in a meaningful way and really lend itself to conversation.”
“I understand a corporation making that decision, but really, to me, what it says is you don’t think America is smart enough to handle real dialogue and something that reflects real family conversations and something that feels honest and true and still respects the victims,” Carmichael said. “We handled the episode with as much love and integrity as we could. To pull that is just criminal. It does a disservice to the viewer, it does a disservice to you, it does a disservice to all of us.”
According to TV Guide, the episode — titled “Shoot-Able” — “only lightly touches on the political conversation surrounding mass shootings and gun control and focuses more on Jerrod’s and his family’s reaction to him being in such close proximity to a fatal experience and the tendency for outsiders to make tragic incidences about themselves.”
Still, that was enough for the network to yank the episode, which will likely air at a later date.
This isn’t the first time that TV series have had to react to real-world events involving gun violence. Last summer, the premiere of a USA Network drama titled “Shooter” (in which Ryan Phillippe stars as a military sharpshooter who goes on the run to clear his name after wrongly accused of a crime) was delayed when the series was set to debut shortly after a gunman in Baton Rouge shot and killed three police officers.