Hollywood couldn’t wait to bring Black Lives Matter to a screen near you.
Industry liberals have been singing the group’s praises for months following the death of George Floyd, some echoing calls to “defund the police” while others bailed out violent protesters caught up in the BLM protests.
And we’re seeing the results in stories across the content spectrum.
The team behind the Fox police comedy “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” signaled the content shift months ago. Co-star Terry Crews said show runner Dan Goor threw four new scripts into the circular file following BLM’s rise.
Time for a reboot, the show’s creative team declared. That likely means a cop comedy where the heroes must point out their own flaws, real and/or imagined.
“Right now, we don’t know which direction we’re going to go in, but we do know that we’ve had a lot of somber talks, we’ve had a lot of very, very deep conversations, and through this we hope to bring something that could really, really truly be groundbreaking this year,” Crews continued. “We have an opportunity here and we plan to use it in the best, best way possible.”
If that sounds like BLM will be unofficially pulling the strings behind new “Nine-Nine” episodes you’re not being paranoid.
It’s happening already.
The folks at Newsbusters have been cataloguing a flood of new TV content that sounds like press releases from BLM headquarters.
CBS’s “The Neighborhood” used its third season premiere to showcase young black men being harassed, and beaten, for no discernible reason by local law enforcement. Later, a white parent tells her child that the police routinely attack black people but she should still call the police in times of trouble. Her white skin will protect her from similar treatment, she’s told.
Later, in the very same episode, Cedric the Entertainer’s character reacts when a friend insists not all police are bad:
Tell that to the people being choked out and killed in the streets. Dave, of course there’s some good cops. But they’re a part of a system that was created when we weren’t even considered people. We were considered property. And yeah, yeah, I know people love to say that slaves were freed a long time ago, but it’s that same system that’s got us undereducated, over-incarcerated, and out of the voting booth.
That’s a heaping helping of BLM talking points in a single episode.
CBS’s “S.W.A.T.” followed a similar path, thanks to speechified dialogue meant to send a message. For budding screenwriters, don’t try this at home. It leads to sub-par storytelling.
Here’s the dad of Shemar Moore’s character explaining how nothing has changed regarding black people and the police over the decades.
Let me tell you about a little boy I once knew. Somebody asked him, ‘How will it be okay?’ His answer? ‘It ain’t me, it ain’t us, “It ain’t them. “It’s the cops. Y’all are the ones that’s killing us.” He said that in 1965, but it sounds like today. See, it’s a generational wound that just keeps… Getting picked at every few decades because we refuse to learn the lesson.
The CBS legal drama “All Rise” did its part for the narrative, pinning the blame on recent rioting on the police, not the people actually doing the rioting.
“I will never understand why riot gear is necessary. They are marching peacefully,” Judge Lola Carmichael (Simone Missick) says.
“Now, but in an hour, it could devolve into chaos,” Mark (Wilson Bethel) replies.
“And that’s the protestors’ fault? I don’t condone violence, but riot gear, batons, tear gas…it’s a recipe for agitation and indignation,” Lola answers.
Last month, NBC’s “Superstore” served up BLM damage control addressing the waves of destruction tied to the movement. The store in question prepared for possible violence by delivering material to fend off looters.
Jonah (Ben Feldman): Oh, come on. The looting is overblown. 99% of the protests have been peaceful.
That must be of comfort to the thousands of shop owners and employees still digging out from the wreckage left behind by “mostly peaceful” protests.
Over at Hulu, the streamer’s new comedy series “Woke” just got picked up for a second season. The show’s entire premise builds off a black cartoonist (Lamorne Morris) who gets roughed up by local police for simply stapling fliers around town and gets “woke.”
Newsbusters summed up the series with one pithy quote:
If Black Lives Matter were to make a Hulu series, it would look just like Woke.
Even the long-running Comedy Central show “Tosh.0” got into the act this season. Host Daniel Tosh mocked the St. Louis couple who waved weapons in their air when BLM protesters broke down a fence and approached their property.
Tosh, whose knack for skewering both sides of the aisle changed after President Donald Trump took the oath of office, showed a husband and wife wielding a rifle-shaped tool.
“Those two look like they should be standing in front of a gaudy mansion pointing that thing at peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters,” Tosh said.
The stars themselves clearly have little issue with similar material, or they’re afraid to raise an objection. Some, like Jamie Lee Curtis, heart Black Lives Matter so much they inject its DNA into projects completed long before the cause exploded.
Curtis, chatting up “Halloween Kills” months in advance of its eventual release, told SiriusXM the film connects to the BLM movement.
Although “Halloween Kills” was shot in 2019, Curtis said it resonates with protests and riots that have swept the country in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death.
“The movie is about a mob,” Curtis said. “It takes on what happens when trauma infects an entire community, and we’re seeing it everywhere with the Black Lives Matter movement. We’re seeing it in action.”
What’s next? It’s impossible to imagine the upcoming show about a young Colin Kaepernick not feeding directly into current BLM narratives.
“Colin in Black & White,” a Netflix limited series from far-left director Ava DuVernay, focuses on the future quarterback’s formative years.
Kaepernick co-created the show with the “Selma” director.
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