Twelve months ago, protests against racist policing and brutality were at their height, and we saw many Hollywood entities make public statements of support for Black Lives Matters. There was enough momentum driving the protests that it felt like programming executives couldn’t ignore this movement altogether. And yet, cop shows still proliferate on the broadcast network schedule. And they will continue to do so in the fall. It’s almost as if the events of the past year never happened.
The creators of these original shows were white (and mostly male). The top-billed actors on these shows were white as well. It’s not hard to see the potential downsides to this in terms of who are getting opportunities now.
How much lived experience should a person have before tackling certain TV or movie projects? I’m talking about shows and films that confront stories, maybe controversial stories, about communities long pushed to the margins by Hollywood. How much — from the inside — does a writer or director or producer need to know and understand, in their bones, about a place or a culture in order to portray and explore it with nuance and intelligence?