The season debut of a leading TV police drama is hitting a little close to home.
CBS’ “SWAT” kicks off its new season Wednesday night with a storyline ripped from the headlines of stories about police brutality and protest.
Series star Shemar Moore and executive producer Aaron Rahsaan Thomas said they could not start Season 4 without acknowledging the injustice and unrest that have gripped the country in the months since an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, was killed by a white Minneapolis cop during a Memorial Day arrest.
“We’ve been successful for three years playing super-cops and entertaining folks,” Moore told the Associated Press. “For ‘SWAT’ to take on what’s been happening around this country, in the world, is very brave and very bold.”
“SWAT” was one of the first scripted dramas to resume production in early August after the pandemic shut down much of the industry.
But with law enforcement under scrutiny amid cries to “defund the police,” even TV cops couldn’t go on with business as usual.
Moore plays the latest incarnation of a Los Angeles SWAT team leader in a remake of a drama that dates back to the mid ’70s. In this version, Lt. “Hondo” Harrelson is torn between his loyalty to the streets and his allegiance to his brothers behind the badge.
That tightrope becomes tenuous in the 9 p.m. two-hour season premiere when Hondo and his father confront decades of L.A. tension between cops and the Black community.
During the episode, the Black cop joins a protest for racial equality.
“We don’t care what side you take,” Moore said. “But just let us present all sides, because that’s what we need, we need more communication.”
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