Brooklyn Nine-Nine may tackle #MeToo in upcoming season


The law enforcement comedy could become the latest show to take on #MeToo subject matter, showrunner Dan Goor revealed at TCA.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is considering a #MeToo-themed storyline for its upcoming sixth season. The ensemble comedy’s cast and showrunner, Dan Goor, spoke about the possibility at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour. Goor and Andy Samberg, who plays Detective Jake Peralta, stressed that the show’s creatives would only integrate a #MeToo plotline if they could figure out a way to do it right.

They referenced “Moo Moo,” an episode about racism in law enforcement, and Det. Rosa Diaz’s (Stephanie Beatriz) coming-out arc as the ideal way for Brooklyn Nine-Nine to tell timely stories.  Those episodes “still have to feel true to what the show is and still feel funny,” Goor said, “but still give weight to the issue and explore it in a fair way.”

“There’s a ton of stuff that would be incredible to do but we’re not going to do unless we have the right take that is doing it justice,” Samberg agreed.

If Brooklyn Nine-Nine were to depict sexual harassment or assault, and its aftermath, it would be the latest in a growing number of series to do so. In a scene reminiscent of many Harvey Weinstein stories, GLOW’s Ruth (Alison Brie) was propositioned by a network exec during a creepy, after hours hotel room meeting in season 2. Orange Is the New Black‘s latest season made mention of the culture post-#MeToo. And shows such as Dietland and The Handmaid’s Tale delve into topics like consent, power, privilege, and gender roles in each episode.

Assuming Brooklyn Nine-Nine does indeed include a #MeToo plot thread next season, I’m personally pulling for it to be from Terry Jeffords’ (Terry Crews) perspective. Like Rosa’s evolving understanding of her own sexuality, it would be an instance of a character’s arc mirroring its actor’s real-life experience.

For those of you who don’t know, Crews came forward with his own #MeToo story last fall. He alleges that William Morris Endeavor’s Adam Venit groped him at an event the previous year. Crews filed a criminal complaint, but the LA City’s Attorney’s office didn’t prosecute due to the statute of limitations.

Since then Crews has testified in support of proposed legislation called the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights and has sparked important conversations about who can fall victim to sexual harassment or assault. (The answer: everyone.)

That’s why Crews needs to be the one telling Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s #MeToo tale. I would argue that most of the #MeToo movement has been made up of women’s stories and testimony (probably because we live in a patriarchy). However, they’re not the only ones who have survived harassment or abuse. Sexual misconduct is about status, the implication of power and entitlement; it’s not solely reserved for women or those in show business or people who don’t have bulging muscles.

Because of Crews’ bravery (and those of men like him), the #MeToo conversation isn’t just focused on gender and physical strength. Crews is obviously a strong man, but that didn’t stop his alleged predator from attacking. The more we talk about the variety of #MeToo experiences, the more chance we have of changing our culture.

For Crews’ part, he seems to wholeheartedly support Brooklyn Nine-Nine covering #MeToo. The actor said he wouldn’t have had the nerve to recount his own experience without his work family. “One thing that influenced me was being here and feeling safe and having friends and family on this show that I felt secure enough that I could tell my truth and still go to work,” he recalled. “And it made a difference.”

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s willingness to navigate serious subject matter, in addition to being a joke-a-minute comedy, also makes a difference. I have no doubt its #MeToo storyline will make one, too. The former Fox comedy is moving to NBC for its sixth season. It will return midseason, but no premiere date has been announced yet.