How One Chicago Tackled Covid-19 and Black Lives Matter
Tackling current events head on. During their Wednesday, November 11, season premieres, Chicago Med, Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D. — three shows that follow the lives of first responders — tackled the current events happening in 2020.
While Chicago Med and Chicago Fire dove into the coronavirus, Chicago P.D. went deeper into the Black Lives Matter movement and police reform.
“As a hospital show, we always knew we would have to cover it,” executive producer Diane Frolov told Us Weekly ahead of the season 6 debut. “Real-life doctors have been at increased risk and have been disproportionately infected. We felt we had to show that.”
On Chicago Fire, it was a bit different, since firefighters already wear masks while at work. Cocreator Derek Haas revealed to Us that they worked with their consultants and real firefighters on staff to find out what protocols actual firehouses were putting in place.
“I think when you see the first episode, you’re gonna say, ‘OK, it didn’t feel like any different, other than there were people wearing masks in scenes that they probably wouldn’t have been before,’” he told Us exclusively. “We bring into the story line the fact that there are no civilians in the bullpen like we’ve always had, which is true. Other than that, it’s going to feel current.”
Lastly, Chicago P.D. was tasked with a different challenge: covering the Black Lives Matter movement. After Atwater (LaRoyce Hawkins) chose to do the right thing — and in turn, stand up against the Blue wall — the police force turned against him.
“This season, we’ll see that it’s hard to be both a proud, principled Black man and a results-oriented, tough cop,” showrunner Rick Eid told Us, referring to “It’s always been difficult to be a Black cop in Chicago. In 2020, it got even harder.”
He also noted that some people in the unit will feel differently about the changes happening: “The world is changing, but that doesn’t mean all of our characters have changed — or that they agree with all the various changes that are taking place.”
Scroll through the gallery to see how each premiere covered the events of 2020.