Brooklyn Nine-Nine is reportedly starting from scratch for to Season 8. In light of the nationwide events concerning police brutality and racial inequality, which sparked many Black Lives Matter protests across the country after George Floyd was killed in police custody last month, NBC’s police procedural is opting to start over on its upcoming season.
Though the writing process for Season 8 had started, Terry Crews revealed to Access Hollywood that at least four episodes have been scrapped as the writers figure out how best to let the current climate direct the show’s narrative in order to ensure the show has an impact.
“We’ve had a lot of somber talks about it and deep conversations and we hope through this we’re going to make something that will be truly groundbreaking this year,” the actor said. “We have an opportunity and we plan to use it in the best way possible. Our showrunner Dan Goor — they had four episodes all ready to go and they just threw them in the trash. We have to start over. Right now we don’t know which direction it’s going to go in.”
As the country at large finally starts to have more meaningful conversations about the roles (and dangers) of police in our society, police procedurals and other crime shows have come under scrutiny. There’s a growing belief that we as a culture have glamorized and glorified law enforcement through media portrayals when the reality for many U.S. citizens is that police officers are something to fear and avoid.
Crews also mentioned in the interview that he himself had been a target of racial profiling by the police in the city of L.A.
“You’ve seen me, in movies or whatever but before all this, I was always a threat. I would be going to the mall or going different places. I’ve had guns pointed at me by police officers in L.A. This was before I was famous. The thing is, they had the wrong guy,” Crews said. “It’s something that every black man has been through, and it’s hard to really try to get other people to understand. I have to say, right here, what is going on right now is Black America’s Me Too movement. We always knew this was happening, but now white people are understanding.”
This news comes just days after Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s showrunner announced that he and the cast had committed to a donation of $100,000 to the National Bail Fund Network in light of recent events. Crews did not elaborate on whether these scrapped episodes have been trashed entirely or whether they’ll be reincorporated back into the series at a later point in Season 8.
TV Guide has reached out to NBC for comment.