Bryan Cranston Says His Showtime Series ‘Your Honor’ Shows How Justice System Benefits Those with ‘White Privilege’

Skip Bolen/Showtime
Skip Bolen/Showtime

Actor Bryan Cranston said that “white privilege” has helped create an imbalanced criminal justice system in this country that adversely impacts black, Latino, and poor people.

The actor made the comments in an interview with Variety to promote his new Showtime limited series Your Honor, in which he plays a New Orleans judge who gets into trouble when his son Adam (Hunter Doohan) is involved in a hit-and-run accident.

The series is adapted from the original Israeli show Kvodo, which debuted in 2017.

“There are characters in it that are completely devoted to the justice system, as flawed as it may be at times. Does it work for everyone? No. And this show will expose that frailty, the prejudice, that it bends its knees to those who are powerful or rich or have white privilege — all of which Michael [his character] tries to use to his advantage,” Cranston told the trade publication.

“In that way it is reflective of our times, and the complexity of racial relations and the unjust nature of being poor, Black or Hispanic in the system and how justice has more than one scale, depending on who you are.”

Actor Hunter Doohan seconded his co-stars views on racial injustice, saying that it would have been irresponsible for the series not to address “white privilege or systemic racism.”

“Our show, especially in the second episode, gets into white privilege and the imbalance of power,” he said. “The reason Adam is able to get away with it is because of who he is and who his dad is. I’m really glad that [writer] Peter Moffat included that because to do a show, especially now, set in the criminal justice world that didn’t touch on white privilege or systematic racism would be incredibly irresponsible and insulting.”

Your Honor, which begins airing Sunday on Showtime, has received mostly negative reviews. “As one more cable-drama journey into an ethical gray zone, it covers no new ground,” the New York Times concluded. Indiewire’s verdict was a C: “It feels like we’re wallowing in misery that no one has to go through, and the effect isn’t thrilling but dreadful.”

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