Watch: Inside Look at New York Desegregation Battle in HBO’s ‘Show Me a Hero’
HBO has shared an inside look at parts One and Two of its six-part miniseries, Show Me a Hero, which premiered on Sunday, August 16.
Written and executive produced by The Wire creator David Simon and based on Lisa Belkin‘s non-fiction book of the same name, the original drama examines the prejudices, myths, and heated emotions stirred by a landmark public housing debate.
It chronicles the events after a federal judge ordered the city of Yonkers, New York to integrate low-income housing into its white, middle-class neighborhoods in 1988.
“They had intentionally taken federal housing dollars and used it to hypersegregate the city,” Simon says in the clip above. “The history was the history and the history was unconstitutional.”
The mandate set off a bitter dispute fueled by fear, racism, murder and politics that would consume the town for the next five years.
The city’s 28-year-old mayor, Nicholas Wasicsko (played by Oscar Isaac), who had used the issue to his advantage during his campaign, was among those caught in the controversy and found that he would never be able to escape it, during or after his administration.
“This exact story is playing out in Westchester right now,” says director Paul Haggis. “Westchester right now is fighting the federal government about low income housing. So this is not past. This is not history. This is the present.”
Show Me a Hero also stars Catherine Keener (Captain Phillips), Alfred Molina (Chocolat), LaTanya Richardson Jackson (U.S. Marshals), Bob Balaban (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Jim Belushi (The Ghost Writer), Terry Kinney (Oz), Michael Stahl-David (Cloverfield), Winona Ryder (Black Swan), Jon Bernthal (The Wolf of Wall Street), Natalie Paul (Smash), and Clarke Peters (The Wire).
Its first two parts aired back-to-back on Sunday, August 16. Parts Three and Four will air on Sunday, August 23 at 8-10pm ET/PT, followed by parts Five and Six on Sunday, August 30 at the same time.
It will also be available on HBO NOW and HBO GO. See the schedule and episode breakdown here.
Simon and Haggis executive produced along with William F. Zorzi, Nina K. Noble and Gail Mutrux.