The actor says he was left with “a weird mental state” as more cases of police brutality came to light, which led to him asking creator Liz Meriwether if he could write an episode addressing the situation directly.
“I was in a weird mental state when a lot of stuff started happening in this country, although it’s been going on forever,” he told Metro in the wake of George Floyd’s death while in police custody in Minneapolis.
“It’s the camera phones and stuff, everyone seeing it, and once it starts hitting the news in a major way, I felt really weird playing a police officer. I really did.”
Morris continued: “I felt strange, you felt like you were betraying your people, you’re like, ‘pick a side,’ that’s the thought process you’re going through in your head.’
Morris co-wrote season four episode “Par 5” alongside Rob Rosell.
The episode sees Winston hide his occupation from an anti-police demonstrator he’s dating, which culminates in a conversation with Nick (Jake Johnson) about his experience of systemic racism growing up in the US.
Morris continued: “There was an episode I wrote with regards to police brutality and what’s going on in America and all over the world, but mainly here in America, what black citizens deal with on a regular basis with regards to our policing system.”
He said it “meant a lot to him” to know that New Girl wasn’t “just for jokes and entertainment” and that the characters were treated like “people in real life”.
New Girl is currently available to watch on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
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