The riots and George Floyd’s death led to the cancellation of shows deemed too police-friendly – like Cops and Live PD. Even children’s programs such as Paw Patrol are being looked at in a new light, leaving nothing immune, not even Watchmen.
Cord Jefferson, a writer for HBO’s Watchmen produced by Damon Lindelof, disagrees with critics who say the series is pro-cop. Jefferson said to Rolling Stone the show may give viewers that impression, but that would be dispelled by episode six.
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“If you only watched the pilot, you might [think that]. But I don’t think there’s any way you watch Episode Six of that show and go, ‘That show is pro-cop.’”
Cord Jefferson co-wrote that episode, “This Extraordinary Being,” that unmasked Hooded Justice as black police officer Will Reeves (played by Louis Gossett, Jr., and Jovan Adepo). It also dealt with racism within the police force he worked for.
Watchmen centered primarily on the Tulsa police fighting white supremacists the 7th Cavalry. Pretty soon, it became clear the two factions weren’t as separate as everyone thought.
Asked if Watchmen was prescient based on what is going on across America, Jefferson answered it’s simply a reflection of history:
“The fact that we made a show about police violence and white supremacist violence, and, several months later, we’re dealing with police violence and white supremacist violence, that’s just because we’re making a show about history. Unfortunately, police violence and white supremacist violence are something that you can set your watch to in the United States of America.”
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He also spoke about President Trump and the scheduling of a rally in Tulsa on Saturday. The rally was initially taking place on Juneteenth, the day commemorating a decree freeing all slaves in Texas.
Jefferson said he was, “Disappointed, but not surprised.” He then called the POTUS and the administration “cruel.”
“This is a president, an administration, that has done a lot of things seemingly because they are cruel. We’ve seen a lot of people quoting that Atlantic article, “The Cruelty Is the Point.” I’m really amazed that they moved the date back [a day]. I just thought they were going to continue having it on Juneteenth.”
He also drew a comparison between the slogan Make America Great Again and a speech by Watchmen character Senator Joe Keene, Jr., (James Wolk) about the pendulum and whiteness in Watchmen’s finale.
Other than white supremacists and police brutality, Watchmen deals with the tragic history of Tulsa’s Black Wall St. and the Greenwood massacre.
HBO will be streaming Watchmen free online and on-demand for Juneteenth starting 1 pm Eastern. You can also watch every episode whenever you want if you signed up for HBO Max.
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#Watchmen begins in Tulsa, 1921 and explores the legacy of systemic racism in America. We’re proud to announce @HBO will make all nine episodes available for free this weekend on https://t.co/dvMR4HmhIR and On Demand, and will air a marathon of the series tomorrow at 1PM ET. pic.twitter.com/UBDLR3OYIV
— Watchmen (@watchmen) June 18, 2020