ABC’s anthology series “American Crime” had a Season 3 premiere screening on Wednesday at the Paley Center in Beverly Hills, Calif. The purple carpet was graced by returning cast members Felicity Huffman, Connor Jessup, Richard Cabral and Benito Martinez, as well as new stars including Mickaëlle X. Bizet and Ana Mulvoy-Ten.
The series, which was recognized by both Emmy and Screen Actors Guild voters the last two years, centers on racism, sexism and classism in the United States — issues that remain applicable now more than ever. According to executive producer Michael McDonald, the latest installment will focus heavily on the imbalance of America’s social classes, while also revisiting women’s rights and racial prejudice.
“The main thing we wanted to tackle is the exploitation of the workforce in America and how people are working to survive and how they’re barely doing so,” McDonald said. “Modern-day slavery does exists [in America] and we close our eyes to it.
He added: “We have these great women, like Felicity and Regina [King] and Lili Taylor, that show us what it’s like to be a woman in America today. The series also covers reproductive rights and women’s healthcare. There is a lot of examination at what it looks like to not have power.”
“Somehow, [creator and executive producer] John Ridley and Michael McDonald have their finger on the pulse of what’s going on,” Huffman said. “I don’t know how that is, but when you’re in the zeitgeist… It happened with Seasons 1 and 2 that it seemed not only reflective, but also prescient in what it was doing.”
She added, “This season has to do with xenophobia. We’re asking the question ‘Does someone have to lose in order for the other to win?’ and ‘How we can stop that divisiveness and come together?'”
Following a screening of Season 3’s first episode, the cast participated in a panel discussion moderated by TV Guide’s Jim Halterman. The evening concluded with a questions from those present in the audience.
The third season of “American Crime” premieres March 12.