The cast of Fox’s Golden Globe winning cop comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine is ready to talk about police racism.
Tonight’s episode “Moo Moo” is an explosive yet comical look at what happens when Sergeant Terry Jeffords, played by black athlete-turned-actor Terry Crews, is aggressively detained in his own neighborhood by a racist white cop. The scene itself is tough to watch, but the aftermath of the incident is rich and thoughtful.
This show has always been a progressive bellwether in these fraught political times. It prominently features gay, black and Latina characters, and depicts a police force that is lighthearted and left-leaning. Those last two adjectives aren’t typically applied to police.
Credit is due to the show’s writers and actors for crafting an episode that feels both authentic and genuinely funny. Crews credits some of that authenticity to his lived experience.
He’s been stopped by irate, barking officers for driving while black, and was once pulled off a flight because law enforcement mistakenly thought he was a drug dealer. Once those officers learned he was an NFL athlete, they asked for an autograph.
‘What if I wasn’t a football player? What if I was just going to see my mother? What if I was traveling with my family?,’ he said. ‘This whole thing got addressed right here in this episode.”
The day after Sergeant Jeffords humiliating incident, he walks into the precinct and tells his follow officers what happened. Their reactions don’t fall along racial lines, leading to a conflict between Jeffords and his boss, African-American precinct captain Raymond Holt.
“Here we are, African-American, am I blue or am I black, as a police officer?,” Crews said. “How are we going to deal with these things that affect our community?”
Check out the episode preview above, and be sure to check out tonight’s episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which airs tonight at 8pm on FOX.