PASADENA, Calif., Feb. 25 (UPI) — The latest episode of ABC’s popular sitcom “Black-ish” tackled a hot topic in today’s political sphere: police brutality.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, showrunner Kenya Barris said the episode isn’t “politicized,” but simply mirrors a similar discussion he had with his own family.
“It literally kicked off from my son during the Ferguson indictment period. When the results were coming out, whether they were going to be indicted or not, my son, Beau — at the time he was like 6 or 7 — turned around and said, ‘Why are these people so mad?'” Barris said.
“And it really kicked off a conversation between me and my wife and how to actually answer that question”
Aired Wednesday, the episode, titled “Hope,” includes an intimate scene of the family — including Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross and Jenifer Lewis — huddled around a television as a spokesperson announces the results of a case similar to that of Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, MIke Brown or Sandra Bland.
The TV spot opened an opportunity for discussion for the family, prompting Ross’ character Bow to order her twins to “do exactly what [the police] say,’ in an attempt to survive the situation.
Lewis’ character Ruby chimes in in agreement saying, “There’s only seven words you need to know. ‘Yes sir.’ ‘No, sir.’ and ‘Thank you, sir.'”
Anderson’s character then challenges that mode of thinking, “Wake up,” he begins. “Let’s say they listen to the cops and get in the car. Look what happened to Freddie Gray…Don’t you get it Bow? The system is rigged against us.”
“Maybe it is, ‘Dre,” Bow replied, “but I don’t wanna feel like my kids are living in a world that is so flawed, that they can’t have any hope.”
Barris said his hopes for the episode are “nothing more than that [the audience] got some laughs, and that it sparks a conversation between them and their family or them and their friends.”
“The best scenario would be that it motivates some change,” he concluded.
“Black-ish,” now in its second season, airs Wednesday nights on ABC.