Brooklyn Nine-Nine will air a storyline about police brutality in Season 8. After reportedly scrapping at least four episodes from its upcoming season in light of the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests over police brutality and racial inequality that were sparked by the killing of George Floyd in May, the NBC cop comedy is making an effort to address the ways the world has shifted since its Season 7 finale aired.
In a new Variety profile of Andre Braugher, series co-creator Dan Goor confirmed that the show's writers are creating a storyline about police brutality that they are trying to ensure is "thorough." It's not yet clear how the story will unfold, but Goor said, "We want to make sure we get it right."
Braugher agreed it was important for the show to address it. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine has to commit itself, as a comedy, to telling the story of how these things happen, and what's possible to deal with them," he said. "I don't have any easy answers, nor do I have a window into the mind bank of this writing staff."
The show previously tackled police racial profiling in the Season 4 episode "Moo Moo," in which Terry (Terry Crews) is stopped and almost arrested outside his home by a white cop. In the episode, Braugher's character, Capt. Ray Holt, encouraged Terry not to file a police report, which Braugher said has made him wonder how Holt will respond to the new situation. "It might mean that Holt is a staunch defender of the NYPD, or that he tries to burn the whole thing down," he said. "I'm anxious to see what that's all about, and I have no idea what Season 8 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine is going to be, because everything's changed."
"It could be a really groundbreaking season that we're all going to be very, very proud of, or we're going to fall flat on our face," Braugher continued. "But I think this is a staff, a cast and a crew that's willing to take it on and give it our best. I think we have a damn good chance to tell the kinds of stories that heretofore have only been seen on grittier shows."