ABC partnered with Homeboy Industries for a special advanced screening of Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson’s newest project, FOR LIFE.
Hundreds packed the house to view the pilot episode as well as a special Q&A panel with Executive Producers, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Doug Robinson, Alison Greenspan, Isaac Wright JR. – whose life the series is based upon, and George Tillman Jr. Gabriel Lopez of Homeboy Industries hosted the panel as EP’s discussed why FOR LIFE is so relevant. Jackson mentioned the “real life” connection in the room between the issues depicted in the series and Homeboy Industries.
Isaac spoke of the psychological cycle in neighborhoods across the country as a result of our justice system. Noting that it becomes normal to prioritize a few months of happiness – “new shoes for school, helping mom,” etc. for a few years behind bars. He stressed how detrimental this cycle becomes for the entire community.
He also thanked George for giving him the chance to finally reflect on his own pain for the first time. “I’ve spent so much time fighting,” he said. “Decades fighting.” He shared intimate stories about the time he spent behind bars for a crime he did not commit and revealed that the only way he could be released was by getting a police office to admit to his lie and, therefore turn himself in. “I had to be 1000 steps ahead,” he said. “Who gets a cop to replace him in prison?”
For Life, inspired by the life of Isaac Wright Jr., is about prisoner Aaron Wallace (Nicholas Pinnock), who becomes a lawyer, litigating cases for other inmates while fighting to overturn his own life sentence for a crime he didn’t commit. His quest for freedom is driven by his desperate desire to get back to the family he loves—his estranged wife (Joy Bryant) and daughter (Tyla Harris)—and reclaim the life that was stolen from him. For Life will also, through the window of his ferocious struggle and his complicated relationship with a progressive female prison warden (Indira Varma), examine the flaws and challenges in our penal and legal systems.