Showtime addresses ill-timed Japan story line on ‘United States of Tara’

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Sometimes television can be a little too ahead of the curve.

In the third season of ‘United States of Tara,’ Kate (Brie Larson) decides she wants to move to Japan and teach English in an attempt at gaining some independence. But, as viewers will see on Monday, [spoiler alert!!!] before she boards her plane, she learns that there’s been a massive earthquake in Osaka -- where she was headed -- that has left hundreds dead.

But rather than be sympathetic about the tragedy, Kate’s upset that the quake has ruined her plans and quickly begins a hunt for another Japan city -- preferably one that ‘doesn’t have an A-bomb’ -- instead. Eek!

It’s a touchy story line in light of last month’s massive 9.0 earthquake. Talk show host Glenn Beck, comedian Gilbert Gottfried, rapper 50 Cent and TV writer Alec Sulkin came under fire after inappropriate comments from each circulated about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan that resulted in massive destruction and death.


On the film side, Warner Bros. Pictures pulled Clint Eastwood’s Matt Damon drama “Hereafter,” which features real footage of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, off screens in Japan.

Here’s what Showtime had to say about the story line: ‘The current season was written and filmed last fall, long before the tragic events that have occurred in Japan. All of us at Showtime stand with the world in expressing our deepest sympathy for the tremendous loss and ongoing challenges facing the people of Japan.’

Following Monday’s episode, the network will display a website address for the Red Cross for viewers interested in learning more about donations and relief efforts in Japan.

Show Trackers, what do you think of how Showtime is dealing with the matter?

-- Yvonne Villarreal