Mike Colter revealed Trayvon Martin inspired the black, bullet hole-covered outerwear his character appeared in.
“It’s a nod to Trayvon, no question,” he told The Huffington Post Canada. “Trayvon Martin and people like him. People like Jordan Davis, a kid who was shot because of the perception that he was a danger. When you’re a Black man in a hoodie all of a sudden you’re a criminal.”
George Zimmerman shot and killed 17-year-old Martin when he falsely thought the unarmed teen posed a threat.
In the case of Davis, Michael Dunn fired 10 bullets into a vehicle over loud music. The shooter killed 17-year-old Davis, Atlanta Black Star reported.
“That’s something we shouldn’t have to deal with, but we do,” Cotler continued to HuffPo of Black criminality. “It’s a double standard. We can’t cover our head when it’s cold and raining because God forbid someone sees us and puts our life in danger. We wanted to pay homage to that — it’s not something we were shying away from.”
The series’ filming occurred during the time that a jury acquitted the officers responsible for Eric Garner’s death. Cotler said “Luke Cage” writers did not want to ignore police brutality issues.
“We were watching the news and it was always someone being shot who was unarmed, and there is no justification for it,” the actor shared. “It’s mind-boggling.”
In a conversation with BuzzFeed UK, “Luke Cage” showrunner Cheo Coker said the bullet-proof hero wore the hoodie because it was practical, but it later transforms into Cage’s cape.
“We have a hero that of course is wearing a hood because it’s functional,” Coker said. “It just happened to be what he was wearing at the time that he basically becomes a hero. But then, at the same time, it becomes his cape. And then you have this thing where we are redefining what a Black man in a hoodie means.”
“Luke Cage” so impacted fans that Netflix crashed while supporters watched the premiere.
DId y'all break NETFLIX ? #LukeCage
— Cheo Hodari Coker (@cheo_coker) October 1, 2016
— Luke Cage (@LukeCage) October 1, 2016
Deadline reported that many thought the series’ Sept. 30 debut caused the streaming website to crash around 3 p.m. Eastern time the next day. Services were interrupted for more than two hours before Netflix got things back up and running.