Hitting viewers over the head on gun control isn’t new for Hollywood, but it sure rings hollow on a show like Fox's Star, where characters are pointing guns at each other at an alarming rate. Past seasons have involved gun deaths as well as main characters threatening to shoot friends and family members over disagreements.
The October 17 episode, “All Falls Down,” opens on the girl group Take 3 trying to pick a song for a gun control fundraiser, known as Orange Night. There appear to be other motives, other than simply concern for gun violence, for the characters to be participating in the event. In explaining that one of their members, Alex (Ryan Destiny), will be performing solo at the fundraiser, manager Carlotta Brown (Queen Latifah), relays the importance of having a social justice impact, a line emphasized throughout the episode:
Carlotta: Okay, look. We got a change of plan. Alex will be performing solo at Orange Night.
Simone: Wait, why just Alex?
Carlotta: I’m trying to land Ryan French to host the winter festival. The only way he’ll sign on is if he believes that Gravity Media has a strong social impact. Alex has the strongest message.
Star: The rich girl is gonna sing about gun violence?
Alex: Yeah, says ghetto Barbie.
Ryan himself quickly picks up on the priorities when meeting Gravity Records owner Mateo (William Levy) at the fundraiser, who claims “this cause is very close to our hearts.” Ryan wants to know if it really is, “or does it fix your PR nightmare,” as he references how someone pulled a gun on Star Davis, the titular character.
Once we get a glimpse of the actual Orange Night, it is clear it will be about the left’s pet project of gun control:
Ryan: Welcome. Thank you for your support and attendance for the gun control issue in our state. You are twice as likely to get shot to death in Georgia than in New York. With a rate of 4.9 deaths per 100,000 residents, we must act know. Please, allow a moment of silence for those we’ve lost to gun violence. Hope Dawson. Lavonda Finklea. Scott Marthone….
[In flashback] Jahil: Get down!
Ryan: Jocelyn Shepherd.
[In flashback] Carlotta: Oh, my God, you’re hit.
Ryan: Jitka Vesel.
[In flashback] Carlotta: Somebody call 911! Just push down on him.
Ryan: Norris Lowe. Dean Delawalla. Thank you.
During the event, Carlotta experiences flashbacks to the death of her lover, Jahil Rivera (Benjamin Bratt), who was shot and killed in the previous season. His death was accidentally caused by Carlotta’s own sister, Cassie (Brandy Norwood), when she meant to have someone else murdered. If there’s a theme of the third season so far, and this episode in particular, it’s that Carlotta is deeply affected by his death.
This isn’t the only experience Carlotta has had with guns. She has had one pointed at her, and has pointed it at others, namely her own sister. In the season three premiere, “Secrets & Lies,” their mother, Christine (Patti LaBelle), shed light on their history with guns, noting with them growing up on the streets, she raised them on “God and guns.”
That scene ends with Carlotta declaring, “I don’t need this [gun] to get respect.” Coming from a show involving so much casual gun use, including waving it around at friends and family members, it’s a refreshing enough line. It would be even more so if it wasn’t too much to ask for the show to heed its own advice and not be so hypocritical on the subject of gun violence.