June 3, 2023

Here’s How the ‘Snowfall’ Finale Honored John Singleton


John Singleton Portrait Session 1991

Photo Credit: Aaron Rapoport/Corbis/Getty Images

In its finale, FX show Snowfall took a moment to honor late filmmaker and series creator John Singleton. One of the show’s last scenes in the final episode, “The Struggle,” features Franklin Saint (Damson Idris) and Leon Simmons (Isaiah John) taking a stroll in their South Central Los Angeles neighborhood, where they stop past a movie shoot in-progress. Saint jokes that the film probably won’t win an Oscar, and there appears to be a character portraying a young Singleton in the directors chair. 

Viewers alleged that the scene was a reference to Singleton’s 1991 theatrical debut Boyz II the Hood, which was later confirmed by Snowfall co-creator, executive producer and writer Dave Andron in a new interview with Deadline.

“If you think about it in some ways, Snowfall is a little bit of a prologue to Boyz, and how the neighborhood got to the point you experience in the film,” Andron told the publication. 

He continued: “We did jump forward in time a number of years and we didn’t put an actual date on it but the newspapers that Leon steps on the street are from September 1990, which was when John started filming Boyz in the Hood. It was very intentional to drop back into that moment in time to pick up that story where John picked it up with the movie. That was a little tip of the hat to him.”

Boyz In the Hood, which starred Cuba Gooding Jr, Ice Cube Morris Chesnut and Nia Long in one of their earliest film roles, earned Singleton his first two Academy Award nominations: Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. Although the Los Angeles native would lose in both categories, he would go on to have a fruitful career, directing 1993’s Poetic Justice, 1995’s Higher Learning, 2001’s Baby Boy and more. 

Around the #OscarsSoWhite movement, Singleton spoke to Essence about his grievances towards the Academy.

“I’m over the Oscars,” Singleton said. “I don’t deal with that. That organization is what it is. I’m a member. Some of those years, there was no one I felt that was passed over for an Oscar that shouldn’t have been passed over and in some of those years, there were. It was hubris from people who basically have all this money. But they didn’t put the work in. Go sit down.”

In 2019, Singleton died after suffering a stroke. He was 51.

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