Will Forte is generally considered a comedic actor after his eight year tenure on Saturday Night Live and taking on fun and light roles like the lead, Phil Miller in the comedy Last Man on Earth.
However, Forte is showcasing a far darker side for a television series he is developing for NBCUniversal streaming platform, Peacock. Before the show has even made it into production, however, it has been widely panned, some might even say slammed, by mental health advocates saying the concept is “wildly irresponsible”.
Will Forte Suicide Drama SLAMMED As ‘Wildly Irresponsible’
The series, Expiration Date is described as a “dark suburban soap” which centers around a man (Forte) who purchases a life insurance policy, specifically covering suicide.
The drama or dark comedy- no one truly knows yet- will follow the year in Forte’s character, Robin’s life in between purchasing the insurance policy and utilizing it by committing suicide. The one year is the specific time frame before the policy can go into effect and the money would be available to his family.
However, even without seeing the show, Forte and Peacock have come under fire, just for the premise. Mental Health experts, specifically the foundation, Inseparable are saying the suicide serial is “wildly irresponsible” and the “reckless show” that will “endanger countless viewers” is “the last thing we need”.
The statement by the group claims that the show is “glamorizing suicide” which “leads to contagion”. Bill Smith, founder of Inseparable, also cites Covid-19 as already being detrimental to those struggling with mental health issues and though he admits to not knowing anything about the show besides its premise, urges NBCUniversal to remove the show from the streaming platform’s future line-up.
This is, of course, not the first show to receive backlash for glorifying suicide, though it may be the first to be slammed before it has even been created. Netflix’s adaptation of Jay Asher’s YA novel, 13 Reasons Why received heavy criticism from mental health experts and those who had suffered loss by suicide in the families or friend groups.
It has been asserted that studies showed proof that the glorification of suicide depicted in the teen based drama series led to an increase in youth suicide.
This new story has gained a lot of traction since the Inseparable Foundation pushed back against Forte’s Expiration Date so it will be interesting to see if they manage to get the show removed from future airdates or if they have simply garnered more attention, and more viewers for the upcoming series.
See the Inseparable Foundation’s full statement below:
What a wildly irresponsible and callous concept that will, no doubt, endanger countless viewers. Glamorizing suicide leads to contagion, that is a fact. At a time when our country is already suffering a mental health crisis compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left Americans’ mental wellbeing at a two-decade low, the last thing we need is a reckless show hinged on the question of ‘will he or won’t he’ succumb to the devastation of depression — an all too real and painful experience for millions of Americans. While we may not yet know plotline specifics, NBCUniversal would do well to rethink such a dangerous idea that could lead to an increase in suicide among viewers.
This show shouldn’t air, period. Equally as important, Hollywood content creators should educate themselves on what’s helpful and what’s harmful. There is such a great need for education among storytellers about the power they have to shape narratives around mental health that can be preventative instead of damaging ones that may be the difference between life and death.
For any other soap opera and entertainment news, please visit again Daily Soap Dish. Don’t forget to visit TVRocker for all of the latest exciting news on all of your favorite daytime television soaps.