Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba‘s television drama, “L.A.’s Finest,” puts two women of color in front of the camera, but the actor-producers made sure that the production staff reflected diversity as well.
Union, 47, said they wanted the show to be “something we’ve never seen before.” The show is a spin-off of the “Bad Boys” feature film franchise, following Union’s character, Syd Burnett, in her adventures as a cop after her move to Los Angeles from Miami.
Alba said she wanted to bring attention to diversity within the production similar to what she did with her household products company The Honest Company.
“You really didn’t see too many productions where people are openly parenting,” the 39-year-old said, adding that she, Union and the showrunners all were balancing parenting with working. “On top of that, we really wanted to have more diversity in the writer’s room. We wanted to have people who have these incredible talents come forth,” said Alba.
The “Fantastic Four” actress also revealed that to ensure diversity with the show writing staff, the production team broke from tradition and accepted blind submissions. This resulted in “mostly women” being chosen who are “very young” and “diverse.”
Union echoed Alba’s sentiments, explaining why such representation is essential.
“If you truly level the playing field, you can actually have productions that mirror Los Angeles with all of its beautiful diversity, and all of the talented people that traditionally never get a shot, are going to actually get a shot. Those are actually going to be the best people for the job,” she said.
Union continued: “Telling a story about Los Angeles with a completely homogeneous writer’s room or production, that’s actually not accurate storytelling … we just wanted to address that, and honestly, it wasn’t hard at all.”
While the pair put a lot of focus on building a diverse environment behind-the-scenes, they’re also proud of what fans will see on screen.
“We wanted to make LA the third lead, if you will, to really showcase some of the neighborhoods that don’t always get the love on other shows,” said the “Bring It On” star. “And we just wanted to show the beauty of all the diversity that is LA.”
Similarly, Alba praised the way women are portrayed on the show, noting that they “kick butt, take names [and] crack jokes”
“We never lose our cool,” she explained. “We’re always doing the thing and when we do have those moments when we need someone, we don’t need a guy to save us, we save each other.”
“L.A.’s Finest” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. EST on FOX.
Fox News’ Asley Dvorkin contributed to this report