One of the most persistent legends in recent American history is how the Reagan-era CIA flooded the ghettos with crack cocaine, using the money to fund its many illegal activities. While this has never been officially proven, the CIA’s best alibi seems to be, “How could we find the time, when we were so busy giving arms to Iran and helping the Contras overthrow a democratically elected government?” And while we don’t know for certain that the CIA was behind the crack epidemic, it remains widely assumed—and true or not, it’s a story that has long captured the public imagination.
It’s such a compelling story, in fact, that director John Singleton is going to retell it for Showtime. The one-hour drama Snowfall will be set in Los Angeles in 1984, the same time and place as Singleton’s film debut, Boyz N The Hood. It’ll follow a black youth from Compton, a CIA agent running money to the Contras, and—for reasons as yet unexplained—a Mexican wrestler. Singleton will direct and co-write with After Sex writer-director Eric Amadio. Showtime is clearly hoping this story of drug use and urban decay will finally give it an answer to The Wire—only with a Mexican wrestler instead of Omar.
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