Oscar winning screenwriter John Ridley reflects on today's protests and L.A.'s history of unrest

Screenwriter John Ridley won the Oscar for '12 Years a Slave'; now he reflects on today's protests and L.A.'s history of unrest, including his documentary 'Let it Fall.'
GLENDALE -- John Ridley is the Oscar-winning screenwriter of "12 Years a Slave." He made news this week when he asked HBO Max to consider removing the film "Gone with the Wind" from its rotation due to some of its content.

His documentary about a tumultuous time in L.A. history is returning to television. "Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992" examines the uprising that took place in L.A. following the "not guilty" verdicts in the Rodney King case. It also traces the roots of the civil unrest to a decade before the riots.

"It's an oral history and it's the stories of tragedy and despair and many of the things that we're going through and the consequences of that from the people who lived it, the people who survived and the people who we should most be listening to at this moment," said Ridley.

28 years after those riots, Ridley is now watching the protests that began after the death of George Floyd.

"Life for people of color is not going to be great tomorrow or the next day. There's still so many things that folks are going to have to endure," said Ridley. "But you see the multitudes of individuals who are lending their voices, lending their bodies-quite frankly-putting flesh in the game so they, too, can say, 'We're here physically. We're ready to listen and we're ready to look at spaces and try to figure out are things that we can do better?' Across the country in so many places and around the world, you see people who are, you know, it's an odd phraseology, but rising up to take a knee as well and say that there is systematic injustice and it affects everyone."

"Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992," is airing Tuesday, June 16th, on ABC.
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