ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy episode on Thursday depicted police as cruelly racist, with one subplot finding Winston — a black character played by actor Anthony Hill — excessively mistreated by officers during a traffic stop.
In the episode titled, “Sign O’ the Times,” Winston was pulled over by two white police officers, who made him get out of his car, take off his mask, and take a DUI test, before the officers checked his trunk — all because a bike rack obscured his license plate — according to a report by Yahoo! Entertainment.
Winston was on the phone with his fiancée, Maggie — portrayed by actress Kelly McCreary — at the time he was pulled over.
“Music off, hat off, hands on the wheel,” Winston uttered to himself as he sat parked on the side of the road, while one white police officer approached his vehicle.
The officer then made Winston hang up with Maggie.
“I’m going to need you to turn off your phone, sir,” the officer told Winston.
But when he asked if he could stay on the phone with his fiancée, due to her being “worried” about him, the officer asked Winston if he was “failing to comply.”
Winston ended up hanging up on Maggie, who remained filled with anxiety as she waited for him to call back.
The scene culminated with officers pulling all of Winston’s belongings — packed up so he could move cross-country to be closer to Maggie — out of the vehicle. They then left him with everything strewn on the side of the road, doing nothing to help clean up.
After Winston called Maggie back, she asked him, “were you, like, swerving on the road?”
“No, no, no my bike rack was obscuring my license plate, and then they saw me. So, it just turned into one of those things, I guess,” Winston responded.
Hill took to social media to express his gratitude for fans’ reactions to the episode.
“After a heavy week in the world, & a heavy episode last night, here’s some light for ur timeline,” Hill wrote, sharing a photo of himself with McCreary.
“P.S. Thank you for the messages, tweets, comments, & conversations about the episode. I’m really proud of what the [Greys Anatomy] team made,” he added.
After a heavy week in the world, & a heavy episode last night, here's some light for ur timeline. 😄
— Anthony Hill (@AntHilll) April 16, 2021