As fans of CBS The equalizer You know, this isn’t a show that shys away from controversial issues. so that it It only makes sense that the drama would have Robyn McCall (played by Queen Latifah) taking on a customer trying to solve an Asian hate crime after an innocent bakery owner is found dead.
The episode, which airs this Sunday at 8:7c, not only highlights the disturbing rise in hatred and violence against Asians in America, particularly in New York, but also draws on anecdotal stories from cast members Lisa Lapira‘s life and that of her family and friends.
“I loved the process from start to finish,” Lapira, who plays Mel, tells TVLine. “There was a lot of transparency from the jump and it felt like a real invitation to be there from the ground up. I felt like the way it was written was so emotionally intelligent. It honestly got me excited about making stories in the future. Not only on The equalizer but on other shows.
“Until spaces become more diverse and things like this happen, writers need to reach more communities,” she noted. “This is the template for how to do it because I felt it lent itself to an honest and fun end product.”
Zoe Robyn wrote the part titled “Chinatown” with Lapira’s input and personal knowledge. She says that although the writers’ room has no Asian-American writers, the staff did everything they could to make the script seem true.
“We do a lot of research for every episode we write and every problem we tackle,” explains Robyn. “We really wanted it to be from the character’s point of view, and we wanted to delve into Mel’s character. I called Liza before we even started writing because we really wanted to get personal. We wanted to get a perspective.”
Robyn says viewers will be able to feel that level of authenticity once the episode airs.
“Liza was so generous in sharing her stories, and many of them made it into the episode in different ways and had a huge impact on the storytelling,” Robyn confesses. “The story is also much more grounded than taking something from the news cycle. It’s one thing to do research and homework and another to have someone willing to open up and share their own lived experiences. It made for a much richer episode and made the on-screen presentation much more impactful.”
Best of all, Lapira says, she’s been able to honor people in her community who mean a lot to her.
“It was a much more collaborative and representative experience of the macro through my mic,” notes Lapira. “I was able to raise three very important seniors in my life and I was able to speak specifically about them and I’m so proud that they made it into some of the characters that you will see on the show. I could give real people a voice, and Zoe was able to synthesize and flesh that out.”
The episode’s narrative thread about viewers and viewers doing more than recording incidents on their phones or turning a blind eye also features prominently in the hour, which means a lot to Lapira.
“If you are a member of a certain target group, there can be 100 people around you and if nobody helps you or calls the police, you feel alone and you are alone. And that’s wrong and devastating for everyone.” “The way it’s being incorporated into the show is brilliantly done and part of that The equalizer as a whole. This show is about being brave enough to do something or say something, and that’s what we’re doing.”
Are you excited for Robyn, Mel, Harry and Dante to take a stand against the hate against Asians? Or do you find the topic too difficult for this series? Write your thoughts in the comments.
https://tvline.com/2022/03/05/the-equalizer-season-2-episode-11-liza-lapira-anti-asian-hate/ The Equalizer Season 2 Episode 11: Liza Lapiras Mel vs. Asian Hate