Can (and Should) Police Shows Remain the Same Amid Current Events? | Podcast

“Nothing changes without the system being addressed,” says Aaron Rahsaan Thomas, showrunner of “S.W.A.T.”

Last Updated: June 22, 2020 @ 4:26 PM

As protests continue across the country calling for social justice reform, Hollywood is being forced to look at the way it portrays cops on television — as well as the makeup of the people behind the camera of those shows.

This week on “TheWrap-Up,” hosts Sharon Waxman and Daniel Goldblatt discussed the future of cop shows with Aaron Rahsaan Thomas, showrunner of “S.W.A.T.,” and filmmaker Dream Hampton, who is also a board member of the group Color of Change.

“It’s all systemic, nothing changes without the system being addressed,” Thomas said. “What I would say is, in particular, when it comes to Hollywood and the system of storytelling you need, there are two elements that have been pretty much consistently white for the entire existence.”

He continued, “The only way that that changes is if you have more diversity amongst the gatekeepers, the people who can actually greenlight projects. And you have more diversity amongst the actual storytellers, meaning the content creators. Without both of those being really changed, expanded, revolutionize, you’re not going to get very far. What Hollywood has tried before as a dural bandaid on bullet wounds.”

When discussing the Color of Change report “Normalizing Injustice” (click here to read) Hampton talked about one particular instance involving a police show troubled her.

“We interviewed folks who talked to us about pitching certain storylines and being shut down when the woman, the victim of crime of a show set in New York City, was a black woman. And was told by the head writer and the showrunner that we need to change the race of the victim, people don’t identify with black victims of crime.”

You can watch the full interview above and check out this week’s episode of “TheWrap-Up” below.

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“TheWrap-Up” is hosted each week by founder and editor in chief Sharon Waxman and assistant managing editor Daniel Goldblatt. The pair dive into the biggest headlines of the week in the world of movies, television, streaming and tech. Each episode features two deeper dive segments featuring our knowledgable and talented team of Wrap Pro reporters, offering up their in-depth, expert analysis you won’t hear anywhere else.

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