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A day after CBS announced the cancellation of SWAT, series lead Shemar Moore took to social media to share an impassioned video of himself expressing his disappointment in how the decision was handled.
The network revealed Friday that the series, on which Moore has starred as LAPD Sgt. Daniel “Hondo” Harrelson since its November 2017 launch, will not return after its season six finale airs May 19. The show — an update of the 1970s series of the same name — actually grew its total audience compared to its previous season, averaging 6.82 million viewers over seven days.
“It makes no sense,” Moore said of the cancellation in an Instagram video posted Saturday. “We’ve done nothing wrong. We did everything that was asked for.”
Moore praised the show’s ratings over the past two years and emphasized its strong performance on Friday nights. The Criminal Minds alum also stated that he is the only African American male lead on broadcast television, not including streaming or cable, and pointed out that Chris O’Donnell, not LL Cool J, was No. 1 on the call sheet for NCIS: Los Angeles, which is also ending its run this month on CBS.
“SWAT is the most diverse show on CBS,” Moore said. “CBS, when I got hired to be Hondo on SWAT, was getting a lot of flak for lack of diversity. If I post this, and I think I might, I will get in a lot of trouble with CBS because I’m calling them out. Because they’ve been wonderful to me for 26 out of my 29-year career. But to abruptly get told that you’re canceled when you led us to believe last week — and the week before, and the week before that — that we would have some semblance of a season seven to at least say goodbye, if not continue. And to abruptly be told, ‘You’re done.'”
Moore said that there was “a lot of politics involved” and referenced licensing fees for the project that is a co-production of Sony Pictures TV and CBS Studios. According to Moore, he was not sharing his thoughts for his personal benefit but out of concern not only for his family but for everyone else who has worked on the show. He made it clear that he hopes the powers that be will realize that a mistake was made and that the series can continue.
“I will be fine, but I’m upset because I busted my whole entire ass to prove that I could do this, and I did prove that I could do this,” he said. “I understand it’s not personal — it’s business — but I still have faith that SWAT will live to see another day. So I’m asking my homies, my fans and my baby girls, and the rest of the world who follow me or follow the show, follow the cast, my brothers and my sisters: Make some fucking noise. And let them know that canceling SWAT is a fucking mistake.”
The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to CBS for comment. Among the network’s shows that have been previously renewed and feature performers of color in the main cast include The Neighborhood with Cedric the Entertainer, CSI: Vegas with Paula Newsome and The Equalizer with Queen Latifah.
During a March interview with THR’s TV’s Top 5 podcast, executive producer Shawn Ryan said it was “up in the air” whether the show would get a seventh season in this current era where platforms have put a premium on full ownership of their series. “There’s no reason why the show shouldn’t be picked up, other than the economics of the business are changing,” Ryan said at the time. “CBS and Sony will or will not figure out a way to economically make a season seven work.”
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