The premiere of “Stranger Things 4” is one of the most anticipated television events of the year, but the hit Netflix series was not immune to the tragic events in Uvalde, Texas, this week. Following the school shooting at Robb Elementary school, which killed 19 students and two teachers, Netflix has opted to run a warning card ahead of the new episodes (via Variety). The reasoning is that certain scenes depicting violence against children could be particularly traumatizing to viewers still processing the Uvalde shooting.
The warning card, which will be shown to American viewers before Episode 1 of the new season, reads: “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.”
In addition to that, Netflix has added an additional disclaimer to the episode’s description: “Warning: Contains graphic violence involving children.”
Netflix’s actions come as much of the entertainment industry is struggling to respond to the shooting. Many celebrities have spoken out in favor of more restrictive gun control legislation on a national level, and other shows have rescheduled events and pulled potentially triggering episodes in order to show sensitivity.
This hurdle comes at the end of an extensive rollout for the long awaited Season 4. Last week, Netflix released the first eight minutes of the new season and confirmed that most of the episodes have running times closer to those of feature films than traditional television episodes.
The official synopsis for “Stranger Things 4” says that “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.”
The first seven episodes of “Stranger Things 4” are set to debut on Netflix on Friday, May 27.