“There was some resistance … the political hierarchy felt a little uncomfortably, at first, until they saw benefit in way we were using the Yonkers experience as emblematic what else is being faced in the nation,” William Xorzi says of HBO’s new six-part miniseries Show Me A Hero, which he co-wrote with David Simon.
Shot on location, the mini tells the story of Nick Wasicsko (Oscar Isaac), the youngest big-city mayor in the nation who finds himself thrust into the center of a racial controversy when a federal court orders him to build low-income housing units in the white neighborhoods of Yonkers in the late ’80s. His attempt to do so tears the city apart, paralyzes the municipal government and ultimately destroys his political future. It’s based on the nonfiction book by Lisa Belkin.
“We’re dealing with a government in Yonkers that was wholly white,” Simon told the mostly white collection of journalists this afternoon at TCA. “That was … the reality and part of the problem. There was no outlet for black political action.”
He added: “I don’t begrudge the truth of the fear that those white residents felt when they were told this was coming, but it’s one thing to acknowledge the fear and another to let it guide us.”
HBO will present the miniseries, directed by Paul Haggis, over three consecutive Sundays starting August 16.