In the wake of this week's elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Netflix has placed a trigger warning in the opening of the premiere episode of "Stranger Things 4."
The stark white text on a black background addresses similarities between the opening scene of the sci-fi series' Season 4 and Tuesday's mass shooting at Robb Elementary School, which left 19 children and two teachers dead.
"We filmed this season of Stranger Things a year ago," the message from the cast and crew reads. "But given the recent tragic shooting at a school in Texas, viewers may find the opening scene of episode 1 distressing. We are deeply saddened by this unspeakable violence, and our hearts go out to every family mourning a loved one."
In a content disclosure for the episode, the streaming service also advised viewers that it "contains graphic violence involving children," in addition to "disturbing images."
[Warning: The rest of this story contains spoilers for the latest episode of "Stranger Things."]
After a recap, the latest episode, titled "Chapter One: The Hellfire Club," opens with flashback scene of a sleepy 1979 morning in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, while antagonist Dr. Martin Brenner (Matthew Modine) gets ready for work at the mysterious Hawkins National Laboratories.
In fact, the clip was released earlier this month, and the graphic scene that was noted in the new warning comes about 10 minutes into the episode — when a subject that Brenner is studying at the lab senses a fatal rampage and the death of another doctor. The camera cuts to bodies of young children and lab workers covered in blood strewn over the facility and later shows a young Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) as the catalyst.
Incidentally, another series that premiered Friday also shows an attack on children at an educational institution but bore no warning for viewers.
The opening sequence of the "Star Wars" spinoff series "Obi-Wan Kenobi," which began streaming Friday on Disney+, offers a different perspective on the infamously violent "Order 66" scene from Lucasfilm's prequel movies and animated series.
In that scene, a Jedi instructor is killed protecting a group of young students while the Jedi temple is being attacked by Clone Troopers who are executing the order. The scene takes place in the same location and point in time as the "younglings" scene, when a young Anakin Skywalker kills Jedi students in the 2005 film "Revenge of the Sith."
However, the new Disney+ series starring Ewan McGregor did not offer a warning to audiences. Instead, viewers took to social media to notify one another about the potentially triggering content and questioned Disney's decision to proceed with it given this week's tragic events.
"I'm at the world premiere and the first scene of the Obi-Wan Kenobi series is a f— school shooting that didn't need to be there. Come on, @DisneyLucasfilm," wrote Twitter user @danuscripts.
"@disneyplus Hey, @Disney did it occur to you that since Obi-Wan Kenobi starts with a SCHOOL SHOOTING maybe now was not the time to drop it early? Maybe push it back a week? No? Read the room next time. F—," added @robfaggart.
"Cool so 'Obi-Wan Kenobi; begins with a school shooting. I don't even know what the right thing would have been for Disney to do, but…that's not how I wanted to start my escapism after this s— week," wrote @GuidedByVodka.
Representatives for Disney did not immediately respond Friday to the L.A. Times' request for comment.
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