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‘Queer as Folk’ warning latest example of TV addressing tragedy

Devin Way and Jesse James Keitel in "Queer as Folk."Peacock

The “Queer as Folk” reboot premieres next Thursday on Peacock, and its opening story lines revolve around a mass shooting in a gay bar. The show is set in New Orleans, but the violence harkens back to the mass shooting at the gay club Pulse in Florida in 2016, when 49 people were killed and 53 were wounded.

So here we go again. Peacock has decided to warn viewers with a card before the show, in the wake of last week’s mass shooting of children and teachers in Uvalde, Texas. It’s following in the footsteps of Netflix, which put a warning on “Stranger Things”; Disney+, which put a warning on “Obi-Wan Kenobi”; and any number of TV shows over the years that have been released close to mass shootings.


Alas, these kinds of trigger warnings, for those who are sensitive to violence and for those connected somehow to any shooting, are becoming more common. The number of mass shootings in the US has been increasing over the years, with more than 200 mass shootings already this year according to the independent data collection organization Gun Violence Archive.

“‘Queer as Folk’ is a fictional series about the vibrant LGBTQ community in New Orleans rebuilding after a devastating tragedy,” the Peacock warning will read, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “Some viewers may find elements of the first episode distressing as it depicts the aftermath of a shooting. Our hearts go out to all of those affected by these senseless tragedies.”

Ewan McGregor in "Obi-Wan Kenobi," another series to recently issue a trigger warning to viewers.Disney+ via AP

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at matthew.gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.