Following last week’s dramatic “Glee” episode, which featured gun shots ringing through the halls of McKinley High School, some questioned whether the plot hit a bit too close to home, too soon following the Sandy Hook tragedy back in December.
During the episode, Becky (Lauren Potter) brought a gun to school, only to have it inadvertently go off, firing two shots inside the office of Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch).
Sue eventually took the blame for the incident and was fired from McKinley.
On Monday, Jane Lynch stopped by Access Hollywood Live where she opened up about filming the emotional episode, the backlash and what lies ahead for Sue.
“We’re always rather topical and rather current on the show and I think it means a lot to Ryan Murphy that we comment on anything that, especially things, that affect kids,” Jane told Billy Bush and Kit Hoover. “I’m glad he wrote the episode and it was shocking. I was really surprised about the feedback. A lot of people were upset about it.”
Among those who voiced opposition to the episode was a Newtown Victims Advocacy Group, which urged viewers not to watch the “Glee” installment. However, Jane said it was never the intent to bring harm to those affected by any similar real-life events.
“One father from Sandy Hook said it was too soon as our wounds are still too new,” Billy told Jane.
“That I feel horrible about,” she explained. “If we added to anybody’s pain, that is just certainly not what any of us wanted.”
In the end, Jane said the show’s message was all about bringing awareness to measures needed to protect students.
“Guns do come in to schools and they shouldn’t be there and mistakes happen. People come in with the intent to hurt and to harm… it’s in Congress, it’s very current and we really need to look at it and we really need to protect the kids,” the actress noted. “People are allowed to have guns and people who aren’t very stable are coming into schools with guns and that’s a terrible, terrible thing.”
“Glee” showrunner Ryan Murphy and the writers also received criticism for choosing to have Becky – who has Down syndrome – bring the gun to school, something Jane also addressed.
“Becky is the one who brought the gun to school, so that set off a whole new group of people who were offended by that. What do you think about the decision to make it hers’?” Billy asked Jane.
“I think we are going to offend people… I never do anything artistically worrying, ‘Who are we going to offend?’” the actress admitted. “There is a truth to it. There is a truth with someone with a mental illness or intellectual challenge who is given a gun and it’s very dangerous and why should that not be in our art?”
As for her character, while her days at McKinley High might be over, it appears “Gleeks” haven’t seen the last of Sue.
“We have to see. We are almost done with the season and I’m not back yet. She gets fired and goes off… and becomes an aerobics instructor,” Jane revealed.