*ABC is about halfway through its new anthology series “American Crime,” which co-stars Regina King as a Muslim woman looking to use her brother’s incarceration as a rallying cry for racial injustice – if only her brother would play along.
King’s character Aliyah Shadeed was born Doreen Nix before converting to Islam. In tonight’s episode 5 of 11, her brother Carter Nix (Elvis Nolasco) is released on bail after being accused of murdering a white veteran of the Iraq War. But Carter – a drug addicted quasi pimp – makes a run for the Canadian border after reuniting with his white prostitute/girlfriend and drug partner Aubry, who breaks off his ankle bracelet.
Writer and executive producer John Ridley makes a point to include a number of racial stereotypes – only to take his time deconstructing them. In addition to the black drug-dealing pimp with the white girlfriend, there are two Hispanic suspects – a gang member and a troubled teen rebelling against the father he views as a sellout.
And then there’s Felicity Huffman as the prejudiced mother of the murdered vet. She believes without a doubt that the black man killed her son.
“That’s one of the things that’s really amazing about John Ridley and his style of writing. It’s like he’s able to do an examination but still keep it within a story, so you’re not really feeling like it’s an expose or an examination, but you’re getting information as you’re watching this story play out,” Regina King says of the storylines.
Below, the actress tells us her hope for the series going forward:
“American Crime” airs at 10 p.m. Thursdays on ABC.
Watch King and Nolasco in a clip from tonight’s Episode Five, below: