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The Gifted Invites You To Mutant School In Creepy Promo

Is someone in your family a mutant? If so, Empower Academy is the school for you.

Set in a United States controlled by a powerful government trying to weed out people with undesirable attributes, Fox's teenage mutant drama The Gifted has filled its first season with an ample amount of social commentary. Now, with a new TV spot, the show is demonstrating what it looks like when powerful people disguise an evil goal behind a noble-looking mission.

This ad for the Empower Academy promises a space for mutants to learn in the company of others just like them, but it disguises its true sinister mission behind warm color tones and smiling faces. "I am more than my power," the students repeat. But is this a message of uplift or suppression? 

By the end of the creepy commercial, it's clear something is very wrong at the Empower Academy, its students seeming more like prisoners of the group than willing participants. 

Casting mutants as undesirable minorities has always been the most compelling metaphorical ground for X-Men and its related properties on film and TV. That trend is continuing here, as you can easily see this sinister spot as advertising a culty "reeducation" camp for its mutant students. 

Whenever a society deems a group of people to be deviant, whether they're Native American or queer, you can almost always find organizations like these trying to convert and civilize the undesirables—or else.

"With the tools that I learned at Empower Academy, I know I don't have to live as a mutant," says one student in a guarded tone at the end of the commercial. "I am more than my power."

The Gifted airs on Fox on Mondays at 9 pm EST.