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‘Rectify’ Creator Defends Georgia-Set Drama’s Primarily White Cast

TCA 2016: ”I didn’t want to make a statement about race in America or in the South for this show,“ McKinnon says

“Rectify” creator Ray McKinnon defended the show’s primarily white cast at the Television Critics Association (TCA) Summer Press tour on Sunday.

The SundanceTV drama is set in rural Georgia and follows a man who is cleared and released from death row after serving 19 years for the rape and murder of his girlfriend. When asked whether or not the show will address the country’s increasingly tense racial dynamics in its fourth and final season, McKinnon said that’s not the show he set out to make.

“I grew up in a small town in Georgia. There are a lot of African-Americans in small towns in the South and they’re portrayed in our show,” he said. “I didn’t want to make a statement about race in America or in the South for this show. I wanted to tell a story about a family.”

The fourth season of “Rectify” premieres on Oct. 26, and will see Aden Young‘s character Daniel Holden enter a halfway house in Nashville after being banished from Georgia in at the end of Season 3. McKinnon said that like previous seasons, Daniel will encounter African-American characters, but race will not necessarily be at the forefront of the show.

“We don’t make a statement about it, it’s just a reflection of our research of a particular place in Nashville called Project Return that had a lot of African-American leaders,” he said, adding that the story examining race in the South “is a show worth telling.”

“Hopefully we’re going to tell a piece of that show, but ultimately [“Rectify”] is still a story about a guy who was in a box for 19 years,” he said.