Daytime Drama Pulls Episodes Involving High School Hostage Situation

Robert Thompson, a professor of television and popular culture at Syracuse University, doesn't think so.

Thompson told ABC News, "Entertainment is an art of storytelling. … TV shows always want to be telling stories that are relevant to the society that they're telling them to."

He also added, "Serious movies and television shows are going to want to, at some point, be dealing with the fact that we live in a society where school shootings have become a disturbing regularity."

Censorship or Compassion?

After Sept. 11, the question "When is too soon?" was often raised. Is entertainment a comfort, an opportunity to process or is it merely a reminder of horrific events?

Clear Channel radio listed 165 songs it felt were inappropriate to air. The songs were not banned, but disc jockeys were encouraged not to play them.

Some of the songs included "Great Balls of Fire," "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," and all songs by the band Rage Against the Machine.

"When there's a big national tragedy, there needs to be a sacred space around it, and that time depends on the nature of the tragedy," Thompson told ABC News. "To respect that sacred space, what's the worst thing, we don't hear 'Great Balls of Fire'? Who's the worse for it?"

'Reduced to Silence'?

Though it is argued that there should be some level of sensitivity practiced by those in the entertainment industry, avoiding issues is not always the answer.

Sometimes it's better to address the issue for healing purposes.

Thompson said, "I don't think networks, soap writers or movie producers should be reduced to silence. School violence is something that happens and we expect to not only hear about it in our news reports, but we expect to hear about it in our histories … processed in our art as well."

While experts agree there is no formula or equation for when we recover from a horrific tragedy -- some of us never will -- the entertainment industry is best-served when it stays on the sensitive side after a horrific case like the Virginia Tech massacre.

So if we don't get to watch an episode of "One Life to Live" tomorrow with a high school hostage situation, are we really the worse for it?

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