'Black Lightning' Showrunner on the Season One Scene That They Had to Fight For

There were a lot of intense and memorable scenes in Black Lightning's first season. From an [...]

There were a lot of intense and memorable scenes in Black Lightning's first season. From an intense traffic stop in The CW series' pilot episode to moments throughout the season that drew on real-life issues, Black Lightning pushed the envelope and it turns out that there was one specific scene showrunner Salim Akil had to fight for.

Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Akil revealed that when it came to the scene where Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning (Cress Williams) was arrested and strip searched, there was a challenge that went all the way to the FCC.

"Our first season of Black Lightning was a test because there was a scene where he was arrested, the drugs were planted on him, and he couldn't use his power because he didn't want to out himself," Akil said. "He went through a cavity search. He groaned, and a little spit fell out of his mouth. The network was very supportive, but S&P [standards and practices] did not like that — they took it all the way to the FCC. We won, and it was one of the most talked-about scenes on our show."

The scene in question comes after Martin Proctor, head of the villainous A.S.A. ordered Pierce be taken down as they suspected him of being Black Lightning. To do this, two dirty police officers planted drugs in his car and had him arrested in front of his students at Garfield High. The entire sequence of events was intense, but like many of the moments in Black Lightning, it was also realistic, portraying the challenges of race within the city of Freeland. It's those challenges and real-world issues that Akil went on to explain that he felt the show had to address.

"On my show, we're also dealing with this idea of being one generation out of Jim Crow. There are not a lot of African-American superheroes," Akil said. "I can't ignore that. I had seen superheroes fighting in space, superheroes fighting in made-up worlds, but I was always won­dering, "Why don't nobody take they ass down to Chicago and clean that up? We could use Batman down there, right?" I knew I had to address some of those real-world issues because if I didn't, those fanboys and fangirls — but also the African-American audience — would call foul."

Black Lightning will return with its second season on Tuesdays this fall on The CW.