The Black Nightingale
Cancelling police dramas? Really?
Updated: Nov 10, 2020
RE: The cancellation of Police Dramas
No. This is the cowards way out. Follow me on a short journey of seemingly unrelated truths to a simple solution.
Truth 1: Police work is hard. It is gritty. It is dealing with the worst of people every day. It is officers ignoring their own mental health. It is officers ignoring the bad things that their coworkers do because of a thought in the back of their mind that it could have been them. It is people losing themselves in the training to be warriors instead of people. It is racism and sexism couched in gallows humor.
Truth 2: Art is powerful. Film, photography, literature, theater... They influence our perceptions and our views of the real world. They can expose us to things we may not otherwise know.
Truth 3: Both police work and art are largely driven by white America. When you combine art with police work, what we have been getting is a sanitization of law enforcement through a white lens. Sherlock Holmes in modern day. Quirky but upstanding heroes and mostly one dimensional villains.
The solution is NOT to cancel these police dramas. It is to revolutionize the way they are written and produced. Fight for true diversity in the writers room, behind the cameras, in the producers chairs, and in the talent we see on screen.
Black people and other people of color have vastly different experiences from white Americans (and from each other) and it is THESE stories and perspectives that will save police dramas from being one dimensional shows that exacerbate an existing problem. Because there are stories like the ones told by Former Detroit Police Chief Isaiah McKinnon (USA Today - google it) all over the country. And there are many, many other stories with nuance, drama, intrigue, and humor that will add so many layers to this art being consumed by Americans (and the rest of the world).
The solution is not to erase the story.
The solution is to make sure the story is fully realized.