As cop shows continue to be put under the microscope, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” star Jamie Gray Hyder hopes the long-running NBC drama will address the ongoing protests against police brutality.
The show could feature “some of our officers standing up against the issues that are in the public right now because you’re not really seeing that side of things,” the series newbie — who joined the show last season as Officer Katriona “Kat” Azar Tamin — suggested during a recent interview with Page Six.
“Even if it’s fictional … what would these so-called ‘good cops’ that people keep claiming exist do in a system that was more open to hearing from them?” Hyder, 35, said, adding: “We have an opportunity to maybe show how things could be, but always understanding that it’s still fiction.”
While production on “SVU” has been halted due to the coronavirus pandemic, there has been no shortage of drama. Earlier this month, executive producer Dick Wolf fired a writer on an upcoming “Law & Order” spinoff for threatening looters via social media. Hyder said she agrees with the move.
“Someone like Dick Wolf has a lot of relationships with the police over the years because that’s part of what makes his shows possible,” Hyder said. “And I understand that, but he’s not afraid to stand up and say, ‘That this is not right’ and what Craig Gore did was deplorable. And the swiftness with which Dick Wolf reacted is something that I have a ton of respect for.”
Longtime series star Ice-T also backed Wolf.
Hyder has used some of her downtime from filming to march in Black Lives Matter protests in New York advocate for social issues. She said the work is “incredibly inspiring, incredibly exhausting and incredibly eye-opening to really personalize yourself with the experiences of black community members.”
Hyder recalled growing up in a diverse neighborhood in Northern Virginia and then moving to Georgia, where she “realized how segregated a lot of things still were down there.”
“I had a black roommate and … white people used to ask me, ‘What is it like living with a black person?’ And I used to say, ‘Well, she pees, she poops and sometimes she is too loud in the morning,'” she said. “And that was always my response because I’ve never been asked a question like that in my life.
“But it was important that I was asked that question because it made me realize that there’s still a lot of work that has to be done when it comes to equality in this country.”