Terry Crews: 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Scraps Episodes After Police Brutality Protests

Written by on June 24, 2020

As mass demonstrations in opposition to police violence and institutional racism proceed, an NYPD-based sitcom following the hijinks of a various group of bumbling however well-meaning cops simply hits otherwise. 

So NBC’s “Brooklyn 9-9” goes again to the drafting board for its subsequent season as tv continues to reckon with its historical past of glorifying cops and their ways, a observe many have dubbed “copaganda.”

The sitcom — which has been on the air since 2013 and ended its seventh season in April — apparently had “4 [new] episodes all able to go, and so they simply threw them within the trash,” collection star Terry Crews mentioned. 

“We’ve got to begin over. Proper now we don’t know which path it’s going to go in,” the actor instructed “Entry Day by day” in an interview on Tuesday.

Crews added that the solid — which collectively made a $100,000 donation to the Nationwide Bail Fund Community in assist of Black Lives Matter final month — has had “numerous somber talks about it and deep conversations” about how the present can reply to the present second. 

“We hope by way of this we’re going to make one thing that will likely be really groundbreaking this yr,” Crews continued. “We’ve got a chance right here, and we plan to make use of it in one of the best ways attainable.”

The actor additionally spoke candidly about his personal interactions with the police and mirrored on the latest reckoning for racial justice, which he described as “Black America’s Me Too motion.”

“You’ve seen me in motion pictures or no matter, however earlier than all this, I used to be at all times a menace. I’d be going to the mall or going totally different locations. I’ve had weapons pointed at me by cops in L.A. This was earlier than I used to be well-known,” Crews mentioned. “The factor is, that they had the fallacious man. It’s one thing that each Black man has been by way of, and it’s onerous to essentially attempt to get different individuals to grasp. I’ve to say, proper right here, what’s going on proper now could be Black America’s Me Too motion. We at all times knew this was taking place, however now white persons are understanding.”

The usually lighthearted sitcom, which additionally stars Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher, has intermittently addressed racism and the realities of policing, most notably within the 2017 episode “Moo Moo,” during which Crews’ character is harassed by a white police officer throughout a cease and frisk. 

Showrunner Dan Goor has mentioned that he lengthy meant to deal with racist cops earlier within the present’s run however “had a lot hassle discovering a method in after which determining precisely the way to pull it off.”

“The issue was that our guys are cops, and we painting the cops nearly as good guys, and so it’s very tough,” he instructed The Washington Publish. “I didn’t wish to compromise our cops, and I additionally felt like one thing resembling stop-and-frisking or racial profiling wasn’t within the character of our cops. So then it grew to become a query of who’s it taking place to, and the way is it taking place?”

Terry Crews and Melissa Fumero in an episode of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine."

Terry Crews and Melissa Fumero in an episode of “Brooklyn 9-9.”

However criticism of “Brooklyn 9-9” has been effervescent for years. A Twitter thread from editor and journalism professor Steven Thrasher sparked a dialog again in 2018 concerning the present’s irresponsible messaging after it was saved from cancellation amid a fan outcry. 

“I’m actually disenchanted in what number of of y’all are so uncritical of seeing Brooklyn 9-9 for what it’s: an interracial police buddy comedy meant to make white & Black cops seem to be your pleasant neighborhood jokesters (& to culturally gentrify ‘Brooklyn’ as sitcom fodder),” he wrote on the time.

He added: “The cop on TV is a VERY highly effective type of social management — and I can’t think about a greater one than Brooklyn 9-9.”

Earlier this month, “Cops,” one of many nation’s longest-airing tv exhibits, was canceled amid the police brutality protests.

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