CBS's 'Rush Hour' defends itself against accusations of racial stereotyping

Rush hour racism cbs tcaCBSJustin Hires, left, and John Foo on CBS’s ‘Rush Hour.’

The executive producer of CBS’s “Rush Hour” found himself defending his show against accusations of racial stereotypes during Tuesday’s Television Critics Association press tour in Los Angeles.

During CBS’s panel for “Rush Hour,” a reporter asked how the show intended to steer away from relying on racial stereotypes for comedy as it did on the pilot episode (and as the original films the show is based on have been accused of doing).

Producer Bill Lawrence, who previously produced “Cougar Town” and “Scrubs,” accused the reporter of asking the question from a “negative angle” and went on the defensive.

“I have a track record of diversity on the writing staff, behind the cameras, on the crew,” Lawrence responded, before adding that the battle is always being able to do better.

Lawrence pointed out that while he thinks the “Rush Hour” pilot will pull viewers in, “shows change after the pilot.”

He then named a couple of examples when the characters’ relati0nship grows, “when we see how these two grew up, and how Aimee [Garcia’s character] is a single mother.”

Lawrence concluded, “I think it’s a valid question. If we were to repeat the pilot week in and week out, we’d fail.”

“Rush Hour” stars Justin Hires and John Foo in the roles made famous by Chris Carter and Jackie Chan in the 1998 buddy-cop movie. The one-hour action comedy premieres Thursday, March 31 at 10 p.m. on CBS.

Read more live coverage from the Television Critics Association press tour.

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