Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Stephanie Beatriz directed her first episode of the beloved series this season, one that focuses on the #MeToo movement. The episode, titled He Said, She Said, follows Amy (Melissa Fumero) and Jake (Andy Samberg) as they investigate a sexual harassment case.
The episode, written by Lang Fisher, known for The Onion News Network and The Mindy Project, is another example of the series tackling real-world issues. In previous seasons, B99 has included episodes which focused on racial profiling and an active shooter situation.
In the lead up to the episode, Beatriz filmed a little behind-the-scenes video in which she discussed her directorial debut. And yes, if you’re unfamiliar with Beatriz’s real voice, you’re in for a shock.
“I thought maybe this was a challenge that I could rise to,” she shared. “There have been lots of women in this industry but I still don’t think there’s enough women behind the camera. I kind of put my name in the hat and at the same time, Melissa Fumero and Joe Lo Truglio did as well and we were really, really lucky NBC agreed that all of us are ready.”
“Scheduling wise, it just worked out that I was the best sort of person for this particular episode and also due to the subject matter. I think this episode, in this sort of traditional Brooklyn Nine-Nine way, dealing and grappling with world issues through the lens of people who really want to make the world a better place.”
Beatriz added that she was both interested in and excited for the audience’s response to the episode. And for the most part, fans appeared to really appreciate the thought and care that went into it.
— Stephanie Beatriz (@iamstephbeatz) February 28, 2019
After the episode aired, Fumero shared her deep thanks to B99 fans for their endless support.
“I am so proud of this episode, and so grateful for how you all received it,” she wrote.
Feeling so proud and humbled by so many powerful tweets. Thank you for sharing your love and your stories with me tonight. I am so proud of this episode, and so grateful for how you all received it. See you next week Nine Niners. ❤️❤️❤️❤️ #Brooklyn99
— Melissa Fumero (@melissafumero) March 1, 2019
My wife, daughter (22) and I finished watching the latest episode of B99 2 hours ago. The episode prompted a discussion about women’s struggles that is still going. Well done. It’s a rare comedy that can effectively address serious topic. So good.
— Erik OConnor (@EPOCONN) March 2, 2019
Such a fantastic, thoughtful and funny episode–and you were fantastic. Even more grateful we were able to have your voice as a part of the @emilyslist brunch earlier this month. Thank you and @iamstephbeatz for being such great advocates for women and representation.
— Christina Reynolds (@creynoldsnc) March 1, 2019
definitely the best episode of the season so far. everyone of you absolutely killed it and it was such an emotional and well thought out episode ❤️so thankful this show addresses such relevant topics in such an incredible and (somewhat) light way #brooklyn99
— dom (@melissafumeros) March 1, 2019
Tonight’s #MeToo themed BROOKLYN 99 was terrific. Fantastic work from Stephanie Beatriz (who also directed) and Melissa Fumero. Great to see them tackling these issues (while still being funny).
— Brian ‘Seasonal’ Collins (@BrianWCollins) March 1, 2019
this is what happens when you get women to write and direct an episode about the #metoo movement. this is absolutely incredible, brooklyn nine-nine really did THAT #brooklyn99 pic.twitter.com/vKbUPbEtXR
— dom (@melissafumeros) March 1, 2019
— Natalie Abrams (@NatalieAbrams) March 1, 2019
The latest episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine tackled a serious matter, the #MeToo movement in such a brilliant way. Props to Stephanie Beatriz for doing it justice in her directorial debut
— Aqilah (@shepsalenko) March 1, 2019
Co-stars Andre Braugher (Captain Raymond Holt), Terry Crews (Sergeant Terry Jeffords), and Joe Lo Truglio (Detective Charles Boyle) all celebrated the episode and its director on social media.
— Andre Braugher (@AndreBraugher) March 1, 2019
Congratulations to @iamstephbeatz for her incredible work on this episode. It’s an honor and privilege to work with a great friend, watch them direct such a powerful episode and absolutely CRUSH it. Much love! #Brooklyn99 pic.twitter.com/YkaQLaeiY5
— Terry Crews (@terrycrews) March 1, 2019
— JoeLoTruglio (@JoeLoTruglio) March 1, 2019
Selma director Ava DuVernay, who Beatriz drew on for inspiration, also congratulated the actor for her work.
In an essay for Glamour, Beatriz revealed she had felt extremely stressed in the weeks leading up to her directorial debut.
“I was stressed and barely slept. I snapped at my partner. I emotionally ate a lot of ramen (highly recommended, by the way),” Beatriz wrote.
To combat the stress, she asked herself, “‘What would Ava DuVernay do?’”
“I decided that she would trust herself. I also decided she would go to the bathroom and do a silent scream of frustration in a stall (again, highly recommended).”
Brava! You made it! Onward to all the beautiful directorial adventures that await you, @iamstephbeatz! 🎬
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) March 1, 2019
You can find Brooklyn Nine-Nine season six on SBS On Demand