Why Shemar Moore Joined SWAT So Soon After Leaving Criminal Minds: “Maybe We’ll Create Some Understanding”
Shemar Moore said goodbye to Criminal Minds after more than a decade on the hit CBS series, but it didn’t take him long to return to the network—even if he wasn’t planning it.
“The reason I came to SWAT is a lot of what you’re hearing form these three gentlemen right here,” Moore said at the 2017 TCA Summer Press Tour, referring to comments made by executive producers Shawn Ryan, Aaron Rahsaan Thomas and Justin Lin. The producers noted the series would be grounded in reality and take a look at Black Lives Matter, as well as other real world happenings.
“Nobody is asking us if we’re remaking the ‘70s show, or the movie,” Moore said. He praised the show’s diversity.
“We’ve got black, I’m biracial, we’ve got Asian…we’ve got white… this is the same name from the ‘70s show, it’s the same font…it’s the same theme song…Those are the only similarities…we’re taking on real life,” Moore said. “We’re taking on the Trump years…it’s just what’s happening today…It’s not just black vs. blue…it’s fear, racism, terrorism, subject matter of today.”
But don’t look for the show to stuff messages down the audience’s throat. “I don’t want us to preach…this is SWAT, you’re going to have a good time. It’s a thrill ride…When people watch this pilot, the first thing I hear is ‘Whoa…'”
Moore left Criminal Minds after 11 seasons. “I didn’t know SWAT was coming. I was an unemployed actor,” he said.
He went on vacation, he was living his life when he got a note from the producers about meeting with them for the role. When he departed the show, he said he got a card from his mother that said, “Leap and the net will appear.”
Sounds like that net did appear.
“Maybe we’ll create some understanding, some compassion and some patience and if you can do that with the television show, that’s why I signed up,” Moore said.
At the end of the SWAT panel, Moore reiterated his statements on the show and its diversity.
“Look at the news, we’re based in LA, but it’s a perfect time for SWAT. We’re seeing SWAT stories all over the world, so the whole world is going to be able to relate to this…Hopefully we’re going to be able to show you both sides of the conversation, blue, civilians, maybe not fix it, but create a debate…I may be the leader, but we’re all leaders in our own right…It’s not like, ‘Let’s put the black guy on the top because we always put the white guy’…there is a political thing happening, TV is looking for diversity, but it’s so individuals out there can see someone they can relate to,” he said.
SWAT premieres Thursday, Nov. 2 at 10 p.m. on CBS.