A thought­ful mo­ment, on Fox net­work?

Toronto Star - - ENTERTAINMENT - Jo­hanna Sch­neller

The show: Brook­lyn Nine-Nine, Sea­son 4, Episode 16 The mo­ment: Pick­ing a bat­tle

Po­lice­man Terry Jef­fords (Terry Crews) was stopped by a white cop for walk­ing down his own street. When he tried talk­ing to the cop later, the cop jus­ti­fied his ac­tions. So Terry asks Capt. Holt (Andre Braugher) to file a for­mal com­plaint.

To his sur­prise, Holt re­fuses. “That com­plaint could back­fire,” Holt says. “I don’t want to see your ca­reer de­railed.”

Terry says, “I wasn’t ha­rassed for be­ing a cop. I was ha­rassed for be­ing a black man.”

“I’m not say­ing do noth­ing,” Holt says. “I’m say­ing the most pow­er­ful ac­tion you can take is to rise through the ranks, so you can make large-scale changes.” Later Holt files the com­plaint — af­ter ad­mit­ting to Terry that he fell vic­tim to old think­ing. As a gay, black cop, he had to play it safe to rise. But why does he have power now, if not to use it?

This scene is in­ter­est­ing for two rea­sons. First, it’s fas­ci­nat­ing to watch two black char­ac­ters hav­ing a di­a­logue about the best way to com­bat racism on a light­hearted, main­stream U.S. net­work sit­com.

Sec­ond, that U.S. net­work is Fox. Since the 1970s, sit­com writ­ers have used their come­dies to ad­dress so-called taboos and to break down view­ers’ prej­u­dices against marginal­ized peo­ple — rape on All in the Fam­ily, bira­cial mar­riage on The Jef­fer­sons, ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity on Ellen. But teach­ing view­ers about racial pro­fil­ing on the net­work that serves as the mouth­piece for Don­ald Trump? Well, these are tur­bu­lent cul­tural times in­deed. Brook­lyn Nine-Nine airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. on Fox and Ci­tytv. Jo­hanna Sch­neller is a me­dia con­nois­seur who ze­roes in on pop-cul­ture mo­ments. She usu­ally ap­pears Mon­day through Thurs­day.

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