This TNT Series Just Killed Off Most Of Its Black Characters In The Series Finale, Leaving White Men Standing
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This TNT Series Just Killed Off Most Of Its Black Characters In The Series Finale, Leaving White Men Standing

Jocko Sims might have been a cast member of TNT’s The Last Ship, but that doesn’t mean he won’t set his former stomping ground straight when it comes to the bizarre choice to kill off all the diversity in its cast.

During the series finale of the action-drama, Sims’ character Cmdr. Carlton Burk was unceremoniously killed off. Two other Black main characters, Capt. Joseph Meylan (Emerson Brooks) and Lt. Alisha Granderson (Christina Elmore), have also died this season. Two of the show’s diverse recurring characters, female character Garnett (Fay Masterson) and Latino character Doc Rios (Maximiliano Hernandez) were also killed off, leaving only the main white characters as the series’ lone survivors.

Sims spoke with Spoiler TV about the deaths including his character’s death, who died after being shot. He criticized the writers for not using enough ingenuity when developing character arcs.

“Admittedly, dying by getting shot with an arrow by a random seven-year-old after saving the world for five seasons does seem like a bit of a smack to the back of the neck, at the very least,” he said to the outlet. “But that doesn’t bother me much. I can take it.”

“At the beginning of the season, we were told that five major characters will be killed off. That was exciting and seeing as this was likely going to be our final season, we were generally open-minded about it,” he continued, saying the move for shocking deaths seemed like Game of Thrones. “So I wasn’t shocked to see three series regulars get killed off. However, I was shocked to see that all three regulars were going to be Black. Not sure that was thought through well…I don’t think anyone in the writers’ room is racist; I just felt there was a lack of imagination when it came to the character deaths.”

Sims said it would have been “far braver” to kill characters that had more character development or more screen time than the characters that did get the ax, whose importance seemed to fade over time or were underdeveloped. As it turns out, the characters with the most development were also white.

“If I may speak as a fan, I’m surprised to see that the most creative thing one can come up with is to make sure that everyone in that first group [of developed characters] survives, and to take three series regulars to kill off in the second group,” he said. “The race issue aside, I’m not sure that this is all that interesting. And when you factor in their race…which is impossible not to do…what message are you trying to send your audience?”

He also added that killing Garnett and Rios continued the trend of literally shooting down diversity.

“It’s a strange move for the network to approve the scripts with those characters deaths,” he said. “Makes you wonder what the message is they are trying to send in a time where the industry is taking strides towards diversity. Or what message they want to send when kids are watching, and no matter the color of their own skin, they learn from this series that only white men can save them, evidently. And all of these decisions are made on a series that is ending. We will never see any of these characters continue their stories. So why make these choices?”

Sims is currently starring on NBC’s New Amsterdam as Dr. Floyd Reynolds. New Amsterdam returns November 13 at 10 p.m. ET.

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