Ashley Judd’s series premiere of Missing, which aired this past Thursday night March 15th on ABC, was packed with action as Judd’s character, mother and ex-CIA agent Becca Winstone, travels to Italy to search for her missing son. The most striking scene for me (SPOILER ALERT!) was when Becca entered a warehouse (with a sign claiming it to be an art dealership), found a rickety bed with handcuffs attached to the metal bed frame, and noticed a code scrawled on the wall- her son’s secret text code. It was eerie and scary, and it packed a punch of reality.
In an interview with HitFix, Judd reveals the following:
“When the producers (for this show) approached me, they had an implicit acknowledgment that feminist social justice and international public health and global issues, particularly the eradication of sex and labor slavery, are a core part of my life and my service is my number one priority. They assured me that I could bring some of those storylines into the plotlines of “Missing” and we do that pretty quickly in Season One. We introduce a human trafficking theme and we’re real serious about expanding upon those ideas if there is a Season Two…”
Judd, an avid advocate for global human rights, addressed the United Nations earlier this week on Wednesday, March 14th. In her speech to the UN General Assembly, Judd offers an understanding to those members who might be thinking, “‘How dare she imagine she has something to contribute to the urgent, charged debate about…human trafficking?’”
And then she follows with this:
“Actually, I believe wholeheartedly the real question is, “How dare I not?” How dare I not stand before you with all the earnestness at my command and witness to you what I have seen? …I have traveled to 12 developing countries and experienced viscerally the insidious enmeshment between poverty, illness, and gender inequality, and how that triad sets up the exquisite pain and degradation that is sex and labor slavery. I have seen the poor and the vulnerable, the disempowered and the exploited…I have made one keening vow: I will never forget you, and I will tell your stories. I will tell your stories. I will tell your stories.”
Ashley Judd is joined by other celebrities like Beyonce, Rihanna, Ashton Kutcher, Lisa Ling, Demi Moore, and Sinead O’Connor, among others, who use their talents and their influential status to help raise awareness to the unfortunate global issue of human trafficking. I applaud them, and I thank them.
Check out the trailer for ABC’s Missing below. To watch the full episode of the series premiere, Click here.