American Crime Story’s first season, The People Vs. O.J. Simpson, kicked off an important discussion about race and justice, one that executive producers Brad Simpson and Ryan Murphy will continue in season two. Speaking at the Television Critics Association summer press tour yesterday, Simpson revealed that the next season will tackle Hurricane Katrina and the American government’s botched relief efforts in its wake.
The 2005 storm was one of the five deadliest hurricanes in U.S. history, leaving more than 1,200 people dead and causing over $100 billion in damage. The federal government’s response was anything but well coordinated, and that’s part of the story that the showrunners want to tell. Rather than isolate a single crime and track the court proceedings, Simpson said the season will examine the “predictability” of the natural disaster, as well as what contributed to the government’s bungled response.
It’s going to be about two things: one is the intensity of what it was like to be there on the ground, but also thematically the bigger crime which is that Katrina was something that was predictable that we weren’t prepared for even though we knew it was going to happen. Like O.J., I think it turns a lens back on America. It shows some uncomfortable truths about it. We’re just now about to get scripts in so we’ll know who the main characters are going to be.
Murphy has wanted to tackle this topic for some time and, according to Simpson, the show will resurrect the debate over New Orleans’ infrastructure and the inadequate aid provided. The new season will employ a mix of “famous” and “non-famous” characters to tell its story, which presumably means the Kanye West and Mike Myers auditions will take place alongside those for Michael “Heck Of A Job” Brown. Filming will take place in New Orleans, and the season is expected to debut in 2017.