Thursday, January 21, 2021

Jada Pinkett Smith Announces Animated Short ‘Cops and Robbers’ About Police Brutality [VIDEO]

*Jada Pinkett-Smith has announced her timely new animated short “Cops and Robbers,” is set to premiere Dec. 28 on Netflix.

Directed by Arnon Manor, the project was written and performed by Timothy Ware-Hill in response to the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. Manor used one of Ware-Hill’s poems for their collaboration, Variety reports. 

The duo said they made this film “for all the Black men, women and children who have been victims of racial profiling, police violence, loss of life and other injustices just for being themselves.”

Pinkett-Smith apparently serves as a producer on the animated short, and she spoke with Variety about getting the title to Netflix, and why the message resonates with her. 

Hear/watch the actress tell it via the clip above, and check out a few excerpts from her interview below. 

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Over 30 individual artists, students and VFX companies from around the world collaborated to each create a short segment of the poem with their own visual interpretation of the subject matter and individual animation technique. Half the animators on the “Cops and Robbers” are Black animation artists,” per Variety.

“I’m so proud of this project and I can’t wait for you to see it,” Pinkett Smith wrote on Twitter. Here’s what she told the publication about the upcoming film:

Why was it important for you to be a part of “Cops and Robbers?”
As an African American woman, it was one of those pieces that I could feel powerful messaging with such compassion from the perspective of the African American community. It was this explanation with this bleeding heart of what we are experiencing during this particular time.

For me, it was this emotional connection that pierced my heart and soul.

It was also written by a very talented African American male, and then, I realized how many minorities had contributed their talent as animators to the project. It’s important that I flow resources in any way that I can to voices and the talent I feel as though doesn’t always have equal opportunity.

My friend Ramsey Naito is president of Nickelodeon animation and she said, ‘I wish there was something we could do with it at Nickelodeon.’ I told her I wanted to be involved and I was down with it. I had a conversation with Lawrence Bender who is a producer and I wanted to help.

The story is such a powerful one with its messaging.
It had so much vulnerability. A lot of times, you could get this messaging and sometimes it can be militant and have power to it. The way this particular expression that we don’t often see while talking about topics of this kind had so much vulnerability, especially through the lens of a Black man. You do not see that a lot and that for me was important because it humanizes Black men. It also humanizes Black people and marginalized communities.

We can talk about the issues, but if you don’t feel, if you don’t really see and understand that and see that there’s nothing to fear — we are human and we bleed just like you. I found that be a very powerful component.

“Cops and Robbers” didn’t find a home at Nickelodeon. It found a home at Netflix, which is global and will raise this global awareness to Black Lives Matter and police brutality, how did that happen?

We got together and had a conversation with quite a few people at Netflix who had seen the project and absolutely loved it. As a team, we just came together. We said, ‘Look, you know as well as we do that this is a powerful piece. It’s not only powerful, but it’s important. We feel that your platform is the place that this piece needs to be.’ And thank goodness they were in agreement and they took it on. We really felt that Netflix was the best place for the short.

Read her full interview here.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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