Not sure if anyone is watching "New Girl," but this weeks episode features a scene in which a black cop (Winston) and his white best friend (Nick) discuss the current racial climate in America and how that impacts his job. It could have gone a lot deeper, but I find it surprising that they brought it up at all on a Fox sitcom.
In the scene, Nick asks Winston if he wants to know what he thinks about the situation. Winston responds, "No, I don’t. This is something you can’t understand.” Nick responds, “Why, because I’m not black? Because I don’t work for NASA, I can’t fix a rocket ship?”
I thought this was a pretty funny way to put it. Nick is trying to give an opinion on something he's never experienced, but does that mean he shouldn't be included in the discussion and should just listen? I'm not totally sure how I feel about it - race is also a white person's issue in the same way that feminism is also a man's issue, but it probably would be better if those without experience would listen more instead of act like they can fix the rocket ship without any training. Nick can understand it intellectually, but can he really understand it emotionally? We don't dig in to Winston's motivations for becoming a cop or their other roommate Coach's opinion as “the only other black man in this loft,” but at least they addressed the issue somewhat, and sadly, that's amazing for a network sitcom these days.
The episode was co-writer by Lamorne Morris, who plays Winston. You can read an interview with him about it here. You can also watch the scene and read one reviewer's take on the how well the race discussion was handled.
What do you all think? Did they handle it well or totally drop the ball? Does a sitcom have any business taking on such an important issue if they're not going to treat it completely seriously?