Glee Cast to Film PSAs, "Deal Directly" With Cory Monteith's Death, Drug Abuse on Show
Ryan Murphy and the cast of Glee are doing everything they can to honor Cory Monteith's memory -- and to make sure that what happened to him doesn't happen to others. During a Television Critics Association panel on Thursday, Aug. 1, FOX Entertainment Chairman Kevin Reilly said the show would "deal directly" with Monteith's July 13 death of heroin and alcohol toxicity, both in the story and in the form of PSAs with the late actor's costars.
"The third episode will deal with the Finn Hudson character being written out of the show," Reilly announced, noting that he couldn't confirm whether Finn would die of an overdose. "What I will tell you is that that episode will deal directly with the incidents involved in Cory's passing and with the drug abuse in particular."
Reilly also said the show-runner Murphy was planning to "shoot some PSAs with the cast" that would "speak directly to the audience" about Monteith's death. "I think they're going to be very impactful," he noted.
"What we all said [at Cory's service last week], what everybody knows, is -- you know, you see some people struggling with addiction. It's clear; they're very easily put in a category: Oh, he was dark. Oh, she was always a partier," Reilly continued. "Cory was a big open wonderful life force. He was not a problem. Everybody loved him. He didn't look like [an addict]; he looked straight as an arrow. He was very open about [drug use] in his past, not as open about it in the present."
His death, Reilly said, was a shock because it was an accident. "It was not intentional -- it was an accident that happened to somebody struggling with an addiction," he explained. "I think that's what ultimately will become of this -- illuminating that particular kind of addiction."
The FOX boss credited Monteith's girlfriend, Lea Michele, with being "the first one to say, 'I want to get back to work.'" She's been "an extraordinary human being, a pillar of strength," he said. He also noted that all proceeds from the music sales for the third episode would go toward starting a fund in Monteith's memory.
The cast, meanwhile, is preparing to go back to work. Also on Thursday, Michele tweeted: "First day of Glee today...And at my first wardrobe fitting for Rachel Berry for Season Five! I've missed her so much."
The fifth season of Glee premieres on FOX on Sept. 26 at 9 p.m.