Sitting inside a packed, sweat inducing and barely air conditioned press room at San Diego Comic-Con, the cast of Fox’s new X-Men series, The Gifted, want to talk about the current political climate in America and around the world. No matter what side of politics you find yourself aligned with, the cast states, there’s no question this is a scary and volatile time.
It wasn’t a random, spur of the moment decision to talk about politics, as if a major piece of national or international news hadn’t played out five minutes prior. This all has to do with The Gifted and the premise of the show that is practically being mirrored in today’s world. The series follows a family on the run after discovering their teenage children are mutants. If they’re caught by authorities, the children will be removed from the family and taken to a center with other mutants.
Stephen Moyer, the show’s lead actor and the father of the aforementioned teenagers, told Polygon The Gifted was not meant to be a direct reply to what’s been happening in politics, but he was glad present events were a part of the larger conversation.
“I think it would be incredibly difficult to watch our show and not think about that in some respect,” Moyer said. “I bloody hope that people do watch our show and think about it.”
Despite the parallels that are sure to be drawn by both audiences and critics between what’s happening in the fictional world and their own, Amy Acker, who plays Moyer’s wife on the show, said they never wanted to attack anyone or their beliefs. The show bases its stories on a number of different points of views, including everyone from their family on the run to the government officers in charge of tracking them down. The hope, Acker said, is to bring out some kind of empathy in everyone watching.
“No matter what side of the situation you’re on, no matter what you think about what’s going on, I think that all of our hope is that by watching the show, you may come out on a different side of that and understand a little more,” Acker said.
It will be difficult for the show to be so forthright because The Gifted airs on Fox, an over-the-air network, rather than HBO or Netflix. That means the emphasis needs to be on family entertainment and ensuring that kids and adults can enjoy the show together.
“Ultimately, we’re here to entertain,” Moyer said. “If we can scratch away at the surface of what’s really going on in the world at the same time, that’s fantastic.”
The parallels, the actor continued, will probably be at the forefront of conversation and that’s what he’s hoping comes out of it. Moyer said that even in the most basic of the show’s premise, the dystopian future they belong to in the series, is eerily close to our own society right now.
“This is a world where it’s okay for mutants to exist in a world with humans unless they use their powers in a detrimental way,” Moyer said.
Sound kind of familiar? According to Moyer, that’s the point.
The Gifted premieres Oct. 2 at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.