It’s his first season of “The Morning Show,” but it sounds like Hasan Minhaj has been training for his role for quite some time.
“I’ve been playing a fake TV anchor for seven years, so this wasn’t a stretch for me,” Minhaj joked about going from “The Daily Show” to Netflix’s “Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj” and now his role as Eric on “The Morning Show.”
The new season of the Apple TV+ show starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon starts streaming Friday.
It picks up amid the the fallout of the fictional morning news program’s sexual misconduct crisis, is set at the beginning of the pandemic and explores racial inequality.
Minhaj told CNN he appreciated the Emmy-award winning show tackling race.
“I love that they integrated that,” he said. “As the United States was going through and continues to go through a racial reckoning, one of the things I loved that was being addressed through the show is who gets a seat at the table and why. And I loved that they showed, really in quite great detail, how when new voices enter the fray, how that pushes against the hegemony and people don’t like that.”
“It wasn’t a black or white answer,” he added. “It really explored the grays.”
That dynamic is one of the reason viewers have come to enjoy “The Morning Show,” which was inspired by CNN anchor and chief media correspondent Brian Stelter’s 2013 non-fiction book “Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV.” (Stelter is a consulting producer on the series.)
Billy Crudup, who returns to his critically-acclaimed role as fast-talking news executive Cory Ellison, told CNN he that “absolutely loves to be a part of a show that is interested in this kid of discourse.”
“And this kind of creative analysis of how people navigate difficult times together in high pressure jobs so you can make it dramatic,” he said. “They are still navigating the same things that everyone else is navigating. and I can’t imagine a better iteration of being an actor than getting to do that.”
Crudup said that for his character, things this season were “incredibly unpleasant.”
“Because he could not manipulate and manhandle a novel coronavirus,” he said. “He did not understand how to completely reverse the legacy of endemic racism in this country. He couldn’t conceive of how to institute a world of equitable power sharing at the drop of a dime.”
Minhaj could relate as he said this season “Everybody thinks they’re the hero of their own narrative.”
“When in reality there’s times where we have our own blind spots and biases and there’s times where all the characters are wrong or right in their own ways,” he said. “I love that. Because so much of the news is talking about black and white binaries, this series really dives into the human nuances of behind these zeitgeisty issues.”
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