Corey Monteith, star of the hit Fox show Glee, passed away earlier this year from a drug overdose. His starring role on the show was left empty and unresolved. Monteith played the role of Finn Hudson, a high school football player turned glee club enthusiast who was last seen on a journey to find his proper path in life. He was fighting for success and love much like Monteith was in real life. His journey on Glee was far from over and the fictional position he left off in was critical to the show’s unraveling. Glee’s writers have devoted an episode in memory of not only Corey Monteith, but his fictional role as well. Although Monteith’s drug overdosed caused his actual passing, it was recently decided upon that his character will not follow in his footsteps. In this case, will avoidance of controversial material prove successful or is bringing fact into fiction considered disrespectful?
Glee’s writers considered all possible causes of fictional death before digging into the tribute episode. Taking time to sort things through, the team shot two standard episodes before creating the tribute as a third. Writing out Monteith’s character had the ability to flow in a variety of ways. After careful consideration in the best interest Monteith’s memory, his character Finn will not pass from similar causes in the future episode. Although Monteith could easily relate to his character on multiple levels, at the end of the day a character is just fiction. A solid distinction between the actor and his role are formed when their death not a carbon copy.
Despite the glorious opportunity to raise the awareness of drug abuse and potentially draw in a larger audience, the show’s creators want to focus solely of saying goodbye. Controversy is not welcomed where respect is being paid to a deceased individual. Some viewers may disagree with Glee’s unusual path of avoidance. Glee has never been a program to sweep controversial issues under the rug or hide imperfections. Although drug abuse is a severely tragic issue in our society and drug awareness is a key factor in prevention, subjective avoidance is appropriate for this tribute.