A new PSA has viewers utterly shocked by the ending that they did not see coming. What started out as a sweet high school romance ended with a painful twist. Click through to watch, and please be aware: this ad can be upsetting for some viewers.
“Evan” is a sweet ad that chronicles a secretive high school relationship. Our lovestruck young hero is wasting time in the library and carves “I am bored” into the table with ballpoint pen. When Evan comes back to school the next day, “Hi bored, nice to meet you” is written underneath his message in what definitely looks like a girl’s handwriting.
Their correspondence goes on for months apparently, getting flirtier and flirtier. They still don’t know who each other are by the end of the school year, until a girl notices his distinctive handwriting in her friend’s yearbook. It’s him! Their meet-cute is absolutely adorable, as he stutters when he sees how pretty she is, and they finally get to talk in person. But it’s cut short.
Everything that follows is SPOILERS: As it turns out, the PSA is produced by the Sandy Hook Promise nonprofit organization, to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Just as Evan and his dream girl are meeting, a fellow student throws open the gym doors and fires an assault rifle into the air, as the rest of the students scream and run away.
It’s gut-wrenching, and horrifying. “While you were watching Evan, another student was showing signs of planning a shooting,” an onscreen message reads. The PSA rewinds to show the student in the background of every scene. He’s reading a book about guns in the library, watching videos about assault rifles on YouTube, posing with guns on Instagram, making gun gestures at people in class, and getting bullied in the hallways.
“When you don’t know what to look for, or can’t recognize what you are seeing, it can be easy to miss warning signs or dismiss them as unimportant,” Sandy Hook Promise cofounder and managing director Nicole Hockley, whose son Dylan Hockley died in the Sandy Hook shooting, told Adweek. “That can lead to tragic consequences. It is important for us to show youth and adults that they are not helpless in protecting their community from gun violence — these acts are preventable when you know the signs. Everyone has the power to intervene and get help. These actions can save lives.”
HollywoodLifers, our thoughts go out to the families of the Sandy Hook victims on the fourth anniversary of the tragedy. Please send them positive thoughts in the comments.