24 Writers Decide to Scale Back on Torture Scenes

Posted on February 19, 2007

Screenwriters for the hit television show 24 now say that they are going to cut back on the number of torture scenes in the show. The series stars Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer. He uses any means necessary to stop the bad guys.

The writers say that they aren't doing it because the U.S. military, along with children's rights and human rights groups, have asked them to. They're doing it because the torture scenes are starting to overwhelm the show and the storytelling.

"It's not something that we, as writers, want to use as a crutch. We'd like to find other ways for Jack to get information out of suspects," said Gordon. "Our appetite has decreased. Personally, I think the audience may be tiring of it as well. My wife says it's too much."

The final eight to 10 episodes this season will include fewer torture scenes, Gordon said, adding that 16 of the 24 ordered segments have been shot.

The decision to tone down 24 "is all to the good, but in my view they could have cut back significantly the past few seasons," said Melissa Caldwell, senior director of programs at Parents Television Council. "It's almost too little, too late."

We're sure the change has nothing to do with the fact that Brigadier General Patrick Finnegan personally traveled to California to meet producers of the show, to tell them that all the illegal torture promoted on the show is having a damaging effect on young troops and to ask them to tone it down.

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