DETROIT — Citing concerns that the new ABC drama "Detroit 1-8-7" reinforces negative stereotypes, Detroit Councilman Kwame Kenyatta on Tuesday called for a resolution that asks that the show change its title, because he says it associates Detroit with murder.
The council briefly discussed and took public
comments about the yet-to-debut series at its Tuesday meeting. Some
members echoed Kenyatta's worries, though others wanted to take a
wait-and-see approach. No representatives from the show were present.
"I want to see the city's actors find work, but not at the expense of Detroit being portrayed in such a negative light," Kenyatta told the Detroit Free Press about the show with "1-8-7" — the Los Angeles penal code for homicide — in its title.
Kenyatta also expressed concerns that council
members weren't consulted properly for permits to work on the city's
streets or use the city's police force in different capacities,
"I would like to withhold any judgment until it airs," councilman Ken Cockrel Jr. said of the first prime-time drama to be produced fully in Detroit.
The series, which will follow the lives of several members of a police homicide unit, is set to premiere at 10 p.m. Sept. 21. ABC told the Free Press in June that the network allocated a budget that will inject more than $25 million into the local economy through production costs for its first 12 episodes. If the character-driven series, starring Michael Imperioli
("The Sopranos"), is picked up for a full season, which would include
nine more shows, many more millions of dollars will be budgeted.
On Tuesday, Karen Dumas, chief communications officer for Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, told the Free Press
that the "1-8-7" team met with the administration early on and
expressed their interest in working cooperatively with the city. She
added that Detroit and Michigan might not reach their full potential if city leaders continue to overreact.
The producers "could have — and still can — move
this project to any other city and film it without our input or
approval," Dumas said.
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