In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Eriq La Salle stated how it feels to say goodbye to the executive production of Chicago PD, a series he has run since 2018, including serving as director of some episodes. However, according to him, everything will be in extremely competent and capable hands from now on.
“This is, unfortunately, my last episode,” he said, referring to “Protect and Serve”, an episode shown on Wednesday (10) by NBC. , because I will continue working with the new Dick Wolf program ”, he added, referring to the creator of the Chicago franchise.
“I believe we are in a good phase and the series will continue to be very well managed,” he commented on his departure. “The person I trained to replace me understands the importance of maintaining a certain balance for the development of an objective narrative. I am proud of the stories we tell together “, he stressed.
In a note, LaRoyce Hawkins, who acts as one of the protagonists of the series, said he would be very sorry for the lack of Eriq La Salle, as over the years, the two have created a very special bond behind the scenes of Chicago PD.
“I would call Eriq La Salle like a real father,” commented Hawkins. “I always wanted to make him proud. He taught me a lot. From day one, he told me that he expected more from me than anyone else. That’s why when the audience watches an episode with [Kevin] Atwater, directed by Eriq La Salle, there is a deeper dynamic. I already miss him ”, he added.
Chicago PD executive producer says goodbye after showing 8×8 episode of the series
ATTENTION, SPOILERS AHEAD!
Eriq La Salle’s final collaboration in Chicago PD was seen by the public with the unfolding of “Protect and Serve”, in which Wheelan (played by Michael Rispoli), a white police officer, shoots unfairly and ends up killing Jeff Duncan (Shawn Tyrone Roundtree Jr .), a black man. For the producer, this was the perfect story to tell as his official farewell to the series.
“Rick Eid [executive co-producer] and I have this philosophy about what works in our narrative, in which everyone is right,” he said during the interview. “This is how we tell our stories, from that point of view,” he explained, adding an analysis of the discussion that the episode in question proposes to viewers.
“We visualize this policeman, who has been doing the same job for 30 years, and we wonder if he does good or just bad. Can it be defined by the career itself or by an isolated action? I am not oversimplifying or romanticizing Wheelan. I am simply saying that these are the types of questions that a good storyteller asks ”, he detailed.
With the departure of Eriq La Salle, a legacy of timely and often controversial stories is created, emphasizing the importance of representation both in front and behind the camera. “The most important thing for me was to start building these difficult conversations”, he recalled, also saying that the main objective in bringing these narratives is to stimulate discussions.
It is worth mentioning that in addition to being in charge of Chicago PD, Eric La Salle has a prolific career as an actor. In this sense, social representation in the media ended up becoming one of the most important things for the development of projects. Currently, he is very careful when he comes to take on new ideas.
“I have many excellent opportunities at the moment when I am working. I still consider myself an actor, but my passion is to write, direct and produce in a managerial way, ”he said.
New episodes of Chicago PD will be released on Wednesday by NBC.