File under gross things that TV executives do: Oakland's barely two-month-old tragedy, the December 2nd fire at the Ghost Ship warehouse space that took the lives of 36 people, is already getting a ripped-from-the-headlines, scripted TV dramatization via the NBC show Chicago Fire. The Mercury News caught wind of the episode, titled "Deathtrap," which is set to air March 1 and has already been shot.
I repeat, a cheesy dramatization of the deadly fire will be airing less than three months from the date on which it took place.
Taking one of the most deadly structure fires in recent memory and turning it into weeknight TV tripe in such short order is obviously a crass and (almost) unbelievable move, but believe it. They even included the real-life detail of a law enforcement officer with a family member at the scene inspired perhaps by 17-year-old Draven McGill, the youngest of the fire victims, who was the son of an Alameda County sheriff's deputy.
Here's the episode synopsis:
Truck and squad are called to aid in a massive all-city response when an old, ill-equipped factory-turned live/work space quickly turns into a firestorm, trapping countless unsuspecting victims. The dire situation quickly turns personal when it is discovered that one of Chicago PD’s own has a family member at the scene. With the rescued victims in need of serious medical attention, the doctors and nurses of Chicago Med are tested as the major influx of patients are brought through their doors. Meanwhile, in the aftermath, the building owner steps forward to cooperate with the ongoing investigation, but the situation takes a sudden and unexpected turn.
Friends and family of the victims, not to mention all decent people with souls, are likely to be outraged by this cheap stunt from Dick Wolf's production company, which has made a habit of taking real life crimes and turning them into procedural drama fodder on the Law & Order franchise.
Behold, they even used "Ghost Ship" in the title of the casting call that went out for extras in Chicago to play "rave party goers" who had to perform "A VERY ACTIVE SCENE that entails running and screaming as party goers try to escape a warehouse fire." That is also sure to offend and enrage survivors of the fire and victims' loved ones, because as has been made clear many times, the real-life fire did not happen at a rave. It was a very small-scale, electronic music event attended by a number of fellow musicians.
“GHOST SHIP” — Seeking Men & Women 20s-30s to play rave party goers. Types can range from edgy/artsy to bohemian *DISCLAIMER* This is A VERY ACTIVE SCENE that entails running and screaming as party goers try to escape a warehouse fire. THIS WILL BE USED AS SURVEILLANCE VIDEO FOOTAGE in the episode. Please do not submit if you are not comfortable with the level of physicality or any other aspect of the scenario. This is a double duty shoot, where you will work in the memoriam scene first and then move on the the party/fire scene.There MAY be use of a light smoke/fog effect in the fire scene, so let us know if you are not comfortable with that.
How did this get green-lighted?
Prepare for social media warfare, NBC.