Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a show where the talent and characters far outshine the premise. Just reading its IMDB description — "Jake Peralta, an immature but talented NYPD detective in Brooklyn's 99th Precinct, comes into immediate conflict with his new commanding officer, the serious and stern Captain Ray Holt" — makes it difficult to hold back an eye roll. But the show is actually hilarious, and it's because of its stellar and diverse cast.
Melissa Fumero, who plays Amy Santiago on the show, talked to Us Weekly about the show's diversity. "When we first did the pilot, and we first got picked up and did the first season, it was something a lot of people were talking about," Fumero told Us Weekly of the diverse casting. "It was something that my [costar] Stephanie [Beatriz] and I couldn't believe — that they hired two Latinas. At the time, that never happened. We thought one of us was going to get fired, for sure. … So it's been this incredible experience for me since the beginning, and it's also been really fun now, [on] Season Four, to see that that's more the norm, that we see that much more."
In addition to starring two Latina actresses, the show doesn't force Amy and Rosa, Beatriz's character, into stereotypes. Their onscreen personalities couldn't be more different, with Amy as a habitual rule-follower and Rosa as the precinct's resident tough-guy.
It's depressing to hear that Fumero was worried she and Beatriz couldn't both make it onto the show, but Hollywood's lack of diversity is a huge issue. Aziz Ansari addressed the problem in the first season of Master of None, too. In one episode, his character, Dev, who's an actor, is told a network doesn't want two Indian leads on a TV show. It's great that Fox made the decision to cast two Latina women on Brooklyn Nine-Nine — hopefully, other shows will follow its lead.
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