‘Laura’s Story’ in Fox’s ‘Accused’ follows the story of a family dealing with the aftermath of a school shooting in which they lost a family member. While Laura Broder, whose son was one of the victims, pushes for constitutional reform in gun laws, she faces backlash from a group of people who claim that her loss is not real. They claim that she and everyone else is lying about the school shootings to further a political agenda. Joanna Pierce is one of the most vocal supporters of these conspiracy theories, and her actions have severe repercussions on Laura and her family. Considering the realistic premise of the episode, if you are wondering whether Laura and Joanna are based on real people, here’s what you need to know.
Is Joanna Pierce a Real Person?
No, Joanna Pierce in ‘Laura’s Story’ is not a real person, but she represents a real group of conspiracy theorists who have claimed several school shootings are fake and have been staged by the government to take their guns away. The most well-known personality of this bunch is Alex Jones. The Austin native, who is the co-founder of ‘Infowars,’ claimed that the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre was a hoax to be used as an excuse by the government to push their anti-gun laws.
Jones created a storm of conspiracy theories, calling the grieving parents and survivors “crisis actors” and claiming that “no one died” in the “staged” shooting. Over the years, he and many other people have also made similar claims about other school shootings. The victims’ parents fought back by suing him, which Jones called an attack on his right to free speech. Eventually, however, he accepted that the events that happened in Sandy Hook were “100 percent real,” and he shouldn’t have lied about it. He was ordered to pay over $1.4 billion in damages to the victims’ families.
Another real-life conspiracy theorist who has been in the news for her claims about the school shootings is Kelley Watt. A grandmother of two, she considers the shootings “false-flag operations” by the government to push for legislation in favor of gun control. Talking about why she thought it was all a hoax, she said: “I just had a strong sense that this didn’t happen. Too many of those parents just rub me the wrong way.”
Watt, who told a grieving parent to “prove to the world you’ve lost your son,” says she is proud of what she does and doesn’t intend to stop. To support her theory, she has argued that some parents were “too old to have kids that age,” while others didn’t cry enough for someone who had lost their child. Some of these lines have also been used in ‘Laura’s Story,’ proving that the writers have created Joanna’s characters in the image of real-life conspiracy theorists.
Is Laura Broder a Real Person?
No, Laura Broder in ‘Laura’s Story’ is not a real person. She represents all the parents and families who have lost their children in school shootings. While focusing on her and her family’s loss, the episode highlights the dangers the grieving families faced when the conspiracy theorists came after them, claiming that their children were never killed or never even existed in the first place.
The cycle of the conspiracy theories started with the Sandy Hook school shooting, following which Alex Jones spearheaded the community of so-called “truthers” who were hell-bent on proving that it was all a lie. The parents and the survivors were subject to online trolling while also being attacked in person. While some received death threats, some had gunshots fired at their home. Many of these parents came together to fight back and sued Alex Jones for defamation. In the show, Laura hopes to take a similar stance against the likes of Joanna Pierce. The writers looked towards the strength and the courage of parents who have decided not to sit back and let someone peddle lies about the horrific tragedy they have suffered.
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