S.W.A.T. is Not Inspired By True Events But Tackles Real Issues

Developed by Aaron Rahsaan Thomas and Shawn Ryan for CBS, ‘S.W.A.T.’ (2017-ongoing) is a police crime action drama series that revolves around the elite Special Weapons And Tactics squad of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and how it keeps Los Angeles safe from criminals and illegal activities. The show deals with a lot of sensitive issues of the current times, like police corruption and brutality, racism, and drug trafficking. The aforementioned issues, combined with the realistic and authentic approach that the makers left no stone unturned to provide the viewers with, make ‘S.W.A.T.’ a highly captivating procedural drama that can easily fool readers into believing that it is based on a true story.

S.W.A.T. is a Fictional Story

‘S.W.A.T’s connection with reality is very much palpable. Movements like “Black Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter” as well as the friction between the two lay the blueprint for the makers to give the show its grounded nature. They aren’t afraid to showcase what’s going on in the real world as it is important to address these issues.

During the summer TV Critics’ Association press tour in 2017, before Season 1 dropped, Shawn Ryan said, “I think the characters on the show are heroes, and I think you can be pro police and yet also be pro truth, but that there are certain instances and times and events that shouldn’t happen.” He continued, “That’s what fascinated me about this show, was to look at the police and the communities that they’re policing and figure out if there is a way to sort of bring these communities closer together, and Hondo really is the vehicle that Aaron and I and the rest of the writers on the show are trying to use to tell these stories.” At the same event, actor Shemar Moore said, “You may not agree with the content of the messages that we put out there, but I think they’ll make you think… Are we going to fix what’s going on between [the men in] blue and civilians? I don’t know if we’ll fix it, but maybe we’ll create some understanding, some compassion, some patience. And if you can do that with a television show, that’s why I signed up.”

In the words of Aaron Rahsaan Thomas who also executive produced the show, ‘S.W.A.T.’ is “an entertaining show as well as conversation that’s been in the zeitgeist lately regarding someone who might have their foot in both sides of that debate.” Talking about the show’s nature, he further stated, “We are all aware of the stories of cops doing things and behaving in ways that we don’t agree with, and I spent seven years working on a show that highlighted that…I think there’s a way to try to bridge the gap between those two, and that’s what this show is going to try to do.”
As far as the tactical aspects of the show are concerned, the gear used by the Hondo’s squad is manufactured by the same company that develops gear for the real-life LAPD S.W.A.T teams. Not just this, the cast has went undergone real training by real-life S.W.A.T tech advisor Otis ‘Odie’ Gallop who plays the role of Sergeant Stevens in the CBS series.

All this proves that even though ‘S.W.A.T.’ isn’t based on a true story, it addresses and tackles real issues and is inspired by real events and incidents that occur almost on a daily basis in the so-called modern life that the city of Los Angeles and, by extension, the society at large has to offer. Considering the popularity the show has achieved today, 6 Seasons later, with the 7th one in the pipeline, it is clear that makers have hit the spot big time. Viewers have accepted the show which is a sign that they have accepted the truth showcased. And this acceptance is the first step towards change for the better.

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