mario van peebles]

*A quarter century may have passed since “New Jack City” invaded movie theaters, but the classic crime thriller remains relevant today with regards to Hollywood’s diversity dilemma.

In fact, a worthy source to tap for guidance could be “New Jack City” director Mario Van Peebles, who had a diverse mind state in constructing his embodiment of a new type of cop to take down Wesley Snipes’ ruthless drug kingpin Nino Brown. To hear Van Peebles tell it, a squad of new jack cops was needed for the job. A group that reflected the community they served.

“One of the things that I remember is when the producers and I talked about in a movie where there are cops, where it’s not only a new jack gangster, but a new jack cop. What would that world look like because in the parallel universe, the police commissioner was often portrayed in film, up until then, as the black guy, sort of past his sexual prime and he wasn’t on the forefront of the action,” said Van Peebles, who also starred in “New Jack City” as Stone, the leader of the police unit that put an end to Nino and his Cash Money Brothers (CMB). “He wasn’t the sexy cop. He was the one that said to the guy that got to shoot his gun and save the girl, “Do it by the book or I’ma have your ass,” in regards to that police commissioner who was the black dude.

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