At the TCA Summer Press Tour today, producer Will Packer came to speak about his new NBC comedy series Truth Be Told. But the press also wanted to chat about another one of his hot projects, the movie Straight Outta Compton, which is opening tonight at 8PM.
One press member asked if Packer was concerned about security in theaters this weekend — a topic that has been getting headlines. Police violence happens to be one of the story details in the N.W.A biopic.
“I don’t think so,” responded Packer. “That’s unfortunately the climate today. There have been unfortunate incidents at theaters around the country; it’s just the climate we’re in. I, like every producer and studio, want people to see the content I’ve created and feel safe doing it.”
When asked about the inherent racism implied in such headlines, Packer answered: “It’s just the biggest movie coming out this weekend. It’s going to get headlines. Obviously, some people bring the content in that conversation.”
In developing the NBC series Truth Be Told, Packer was fascinated by the “provocative conversations” that are ripe to come out of the domestic romantic comedy. The series is based on the life of creator/EP DJ Nash, who is married to a Korean woman and has close African-American friends. “I’m the only white guy in my house,” said Nash.
“We’re not being politically correct,” said Packer.”The way the show is being crafted, it leans into what people are really talking about.”
Nash said that the series will tackle everyday issues that they want viewers to argue about back at home. “For example,” he said, “can you text someone condolences? When I go to someone’s house and they say grace, do I have to say grace too? Our show isn’t about race, but it’s the lens where we look through different things.”
The writer took a list out of his pocket and told the Beverly Hilton ballroom about his diverse writers room: “We have gay, straight, black, white, ethnically ambiguous, a couple of us didn’t go to Harvard, we’re single, divorced, young, Catholic — but like our cast, all of us are incredibly f*ckable!”
When building his room, Nash specifically advised agents on what he wanted. “I wanted us to get into debates,” he said. “I didn’t want writers to agree with us on every point.”