While Kevin Reilly, Fox entertainment chairman, initially said the series' promotion wasn't affected, a spokesman later noted that some ads for the show were softened immediately after the Connecticut shooting. Electronic billboards depicting a woman with an ice pick were changed to pictures of Bacon, said Fox's Joe Earley. Some on-air ads with action sequences were also changed to focus on Bacon, and Fox combed its promotions to make sure none of them depicted actors with guns, Earley said.
Williamson, creator of the “Scream” movie franchise, said he was traumatized by the events of Dec. 14, when 20 first-graders and six educators were gunned down in a Newtown, Conn., elementary school.
“I know it affected me,” Williamson said. “I know what happens in the real world affects me. So when I take pen to paper, there is a reaction to it and it sort of finds its way into what I do.”
He doesn't know how the latest attack will affect his work. “It just happened,” he said. “We'll see.”
But Williamson said “The Following” is partly inspired by the Columbine school shootings of a decade ago. He said he wonders how people like the Columbine killers are attracted to evil as a way of filling a void in their lives. The serial killer in “The Following” is a charismatic figure who attracts followers by trying to provide them with something they are missing.
Violence in movies, video games and television has received attention since the Newtown shootings, along with the availability of guns and mental health services. Reilly said people “can't be reactionary and you can't draw a direct linkage.”
The series is intense, but it needs to be to compete in the world of thrillers, Reilly said.