Texans were left bemused and frightened in late January when they received an official government text indicating they were in danger of being murdered by Chucky from Child’s Play. The text, sent out under the Amber Alert system intended to raise the alarm about abducted children, warned recipients to be on the lookout for the pint-size maniac.
They described Chucky as 28, with red hair, 3’1″ tall, 16lbs, blue eyes and with race “other: doll.” Additional information had him as wearing “blue denim overalls with multi-colored striped long-sleeve shirt wielding a huge kitchen knife.” Apparently, Chucky had kidnapped Glen, his own son from Seed of Chucky.
Red-faced staff in the Texas Department of Public Safety quickly apologized, with Ruben Medina of DPS saying:
“This was actually a test we were running on a dev server and it accidentally went out. We appreciate you reaching out to us to verify this. We do apologize for this inconvenience.”
But was it really a mistake? Could it be that there’s actually a killer doll on the loose and they realized that the panic this knowledge would cause was more harmful than the more localized crimes Chucky could commit? We may never know.
This one looks set to go down in the growing history of mistakenly sent mass alerts, though at least it caused considerably less disruption than the 2018 incident when the population of Hawaii was informed that they were about to be nuked, with the text reading “THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” Maybe software engineers should build in a “are you sure you really want to send this?” button to these systems?
But while Chucky may not be terrorizing the people of Texas, he’s returning on film and TV fairly soon. The Chucky Syfy show has been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, but is expected to air at some point this year. Beyond that, we’re almost certainly getting a sequel to the excellent 2019 Child’s Play, which overcame fan misgivings and lived up to the franchise’s sterling reputation.