Toronto-born producer Veena Sud tackles U.S. racial tensions with Seven Seconds
New Toronto-shot Netflix crime drama stars Beau Knapp, Regina King and Russell Hornsby
A new Netflix crime drama explores the racial tensions resulting from police misconduct in the U.S. — and it was created by a Canadian.
Launching Friday, the anthology series stars Beau Knapp as a white New Jersey cop who accidentally hits a black teenager with his car. His cop colleagues stage a coverup, resulting in racial tensions in the city as the case unfolds.
"Turning on the television and seeing on the nightly news over and over and over this tragedy happening really spoke to me," said Sud, who lives in Los Angeles.
"It was post-Ferguson, the murder of Michael Brown; post-Baltimore, the killing of Freddie Gray; and watching the courage of an (attorney) like Marilyn Mosby in Baltimore trying to take on the system and bring to justice the officers who had killed a man."
Show has diverse writers' room, Sud says
Seven Seconds has "one of the most diverse if not the most diverse writers' room in the industry," Sud said.
"African-American, Latino, Asian-Pacific Islander, white — and the white writers are the minority — half women," she added.
Sud's other upcoming projects include a dark family drama film starring Cas Anvar, Peter Sarsgaard and Joey King.
She recently shot it in Toronto, where she grew up until age two, when her family moved to the U.S.
"I'm still Canadian but it's the first time I've been back in Toronto since then, so it's special being back," Sud said.
When conversation turned to how her Twitter handle says "Canadian-born," Sud added with a laugh: "I definitely am not proud of being American right now."