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Terry Crews Discusses His “Summer of Freedom” as Brooklyn Nine-Nine Ponders Getting a #MeToo Episode Right

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine will try to tackle the #MeToo movement in its upcoming fifth season—if they can find the right way to do it.

“[Topical episodes] are hard to do, but we’ve been very happy with what we’ve done,” showrunner Dan Goor said during the show’s panel on NBC’s press day at the Television Critics’ Association’s summer press tour. “The challenge is always to make them still feel really true to the show, still feel funny, but at the same time, give weight to the issue and really exploring it in a fair way. ”

While the show has tackled topical issues in recent episodes to critical and fan acclaim, like Rosa’s coming out as bisexual—which will continue to be explored in the new season—Goor would not commit to the show doing a #MeToo storyline unless it’s absolutely right.

“I don’t want to say we’re going to do it, unless we can actually figure it out,” he said. “I can’t make a promise, but we’re really interested in trying to do a #MeToo storyline. It’s something that we’re actively talking about in the writers’ room.”

Series star Andy Samberg referenced the show’s fourth season episode, “Moo Moo,” which tackled institutionalized racism, as one that took careful planning and a lot of time to perfect.

“The ‘Moo Moo’ episode, which I think we’re all incredibly proud of, was something that took a really long time to be written in a way where everyone was like, ‘Yes, this is how the show wants to do this,'” he said. “There’s a ton of stuff like that that would be incredible to do but we’re not going to do unless we have the right take that is doing it justice.”

Of course, #metoo holds special weight and significance for this show, since series star Terry Crews is one of the most high-profile faces of the movement.

Crews has been outspoken about being a victim of sexual assault and over the summer, testified in front of Congress on new proposed legislation that would protect other survivors.

“I like to call it, for me and for a lot of people out there, the summer of freedom,” he said. “Just in that, we can now tell our truth. These are lessons that I learned while doing the show. ‘Moo Moo’ really confronted a lot of incidents regarding race and the police and we started to tackle topics … Stephanie had an episode that dealt with coming out in a real way … It’s about the freedom to tell your story. 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 actually tell my truth and still go to work. It made a difference and I thank each and every person up here right now because they gave me the strength to do that.”

Brooklyn Nine-Nine will return in midseason on NBC.

(image: Fox)

Linda Ge is a writer and freelance journalist. She was most recently the TV Editor at Tracking Board and before that spent three years as a TV Reporter at trade publication TheWrap.

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