- 19 Jun 19
U2's most famous protest song made its first ever appearance as a song on an American TV show on Wednesday night.
The song made an appearance in episode five of Hulu's A Handmaid's Tale. It featured at the end of an episode, titled 'Unknown Caller'.
Ahead of its appearance, the series' executive producer, Warren Littlefield, talked to Insider journalist Kirsten Acuna about including the song in the show.
"We agonize over music and we battle over music choices, from Lizzie [Moss] and [showrunner] Bruce [Miller] and myself, but at the end of the day, hopefully it provokes, hopefully it adds to the power of our story. And sometimes it's ironic and juxtaposes it," Littlefield told Insider. "Other times, it's marrying it."
A Handmaid's Tale
Hulu's adaption of Margaret Atwood's famous dystopian story follows the story of fertile "handmaids", who are forced to bear children for wealthy and powerful couples in Republic of Gilead, who can't have children of their own.
In the latest episode of the show, 'Sunday Bloody Sunday' plays out at the end of a particularly tense episode.
Speaking about the decision to include it, Littlefield said:"It was fairly expensive, but we just, we liked it. We embraced it. Let's just say that's an episode where we went over budget."
Speaking about the licensing price for a song included in the series, he said: "It usually starts at about $15,000 and can go up to, it can go up to $150 [thousand]."
He also told Insider that he doesn't remember how exactly how much the rights to this particular song cost, but that it was "in the upper range" of what they usually pay for a song.
'Sunday Bloody Sunday' is the opening track on U2's 1983 album War. The song is noted for Larry Mullen Jr's distinctive drumming, and for its themes of protest and anti-violence (which likely made it a must-have for A Handmaid's Tale's producers). The song was written against the backdrop of political violence in the north of Ireland, focusing on the Bloody Sunday Massacre of 1972.