This summer, the Black Lives Matter protests called for, amongst other things, a reexamine of our nation’s policing, in an effort to end police brutality against Black communities and other vulnerable populations. When it comes to the depiction of police in popular culture, that reexamination extends to the many TV shows and films that depict the police as unilaterally good, morally unimpeachable, and/or justified in using any means necessary to stop crime in its tracks. Or, in the case of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, as a bunch of sweet, harmless goofballs. At a preview of his new Hulu movie Palm Springs, Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Andy Samberg said the sitcom is currently “taking a step back” and “rethinking how we’re going to move forward” with the NBC comedy series.
“We’re taking a step back, and the writers are all rethinking how we’re going to move forward, as well as the cast,” Samberg, who has played Detective Jake Peralta on the sitcom since it debuted in 2013 on Fox, moving to NBC last year for its sixth season, told People. “We’re all in touch and kind of discussing how you make a comedy show about police right now, and if we can find a way of doing that that we all feel morally okay about.” Says the former Saturday Night Live star, “I know that we’ll figure it out, but it’s definitely a challenge, so we’ll see how it goes.”
Last month, Samberg’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine costar Terry Crews said their showrunner Dan Goor had scrapped four upcoming episodes following the civil rights protests, which were sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers. “We have to start over. Right now we don’t know which direction it’s going to go in,” Crews said. “We have an opportunity here, and we plan to use it in the best way possible.” The show’s cast also donated $100,000 to the National Bail Fund Network, in addition to individual donations, and issued a statement condemning Floyd’s death.