Director and supervising producer Sam Pollard and producer and executive producer Julie Anderson took the stage at last July’s Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour in Los Angeles, CA to discuss PBS’ upcoming documentary, The Talk.
The Talk – Race in America is a two-hour documentary about the increasingly common conversation taking place in homes and communities across the country between parents of color and their children, especially sons, about how to behave if they are ever stopped by the police.
“It’s about the talk that mothers and fathers have had to tell their children, ‘Answer, ‘yes sir’ and no sir’, don’t talk back, obey everything they say,” said Anderson. The film will present six personal stories by different directors to illustrate the issue from multiple points of view: parent, child, the police and the community.
Joining the filmmakers on stage were Oscar-nominated director John Singleton, retired NYPD sergeant Trevana Garel, and the mother of Tamir Rice, Samaria Rice.
“The conversation that needs to be held in America is about racism,” Rice said. “It can be uncomfortable.” She added, “It needs to happen or America is just going to crumble right in front of your eyes.” Rice’s son was 12-years-old when he was killed by the Cleveland police while playing with a toy gun in a local park.
“These are human lives that we’re talking about,” said retired NYPD Sergeant Trevena Garel. “We still have to hold these officers accountable because they are taking human lives.”
“If law enforcement comes along, you’re supposed to go into passivity immediately,” explained John Singleton. “It’s not fair. It has nothing to do with the constitution or democracy. It’s human rights.”