"Brooklyn Nine-Nine" star Andre Braugher is looking forward to the show addressing police brutality in its upcoming season.
The hit cop comedy has taken on racial profiling in the past, and will have a future episode on police violence following the Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of officers.
Braugher, who stars as Raymond Holt in the show, tells Variety he's glad the show will take on such an important topic – saying it will be interesting to have a comedy take on the issue rather than a gritty drama.
"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. … But I think this is a staff, a cast and a crew that's willing to take it on and give it our best," he explains. "I think we have a damn good chance to tell the kinds of stories that heretofore have only been seen on grittier shows."
The 58-year-old is also known for playing a police officer in "The Wire" creator David Simon's police procedural, "Homicide: Life on the Street", winning multiple awards for his portrayal of Detective Frank Pembleton.
Reflecting on the failure of police shows to show the truth about how cops sometimes behave, he adds, "I look up after all these decades of playing these characters, and I say to myself, it's been so pervasive that I've been inside this storytelling, and I, too, have fallen prey to the mythology that's been built up."
"It's almost like the air you breathe or the water that you swim in. It's hard to see. But because there are so many cop shows on television, that's where the public gets its information about the state of policing."
"Cops breaking the law to quote, 'defend the law,' is a real terrible slippery slope. It has given license to the breaking of law everywhere, justified it and excused it. That's something that we're going to have to collectively address – all cop shows."
"Brooklyn Nine-Nine" will return next year.