The Depths of Institutional Racism- A Small Story

Posted 2 years, 7 months ago


In the 1990's, I was heavily into producing Reality TV Shows.

I had, at one point, about a dozen various reality series in production -from Trauma Life In the ER to Police Story to Breaking News.

It was a big business, and a relatively simple one. 

You got an idea for a show, you shot a demi-pilot, a demo reel, you took it to a network and you got a deal.

It was pretty much that simple in those days - Paramedics, Helicopter Ambulances, Fire Fighters.

In 1995, I got an idea to do Real Life Detectives.

So I went to Detroit and spent a week hanging out and shooting with Detroit Homicide.

They called them The Hat Squad.

Shot a lot.

The brilliant editor, Neil Cohen put it all together with a Hip Hop track.

Then I took it to Disney, who was very interested in the concept 

Until they saw the demo.

"The detectives are all black," They said.

Clearly, they were.

Great characters.

"Sorry, we don't want to commission this one.  Great concept but not for us."

"Why not?"

The Disney guy looked at me as though I was an idiot.

"The detectives are all black.  Won't rate."

As it turned out, no one wanted it.

Defund the Police may turn out to be a lot easier than deracinating society. 

The problems go very deep. 


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