The fastest way to keep the die-hards apart Snowfall the most hip fans are ditching the White Rob name.
Portrayed by actor Taylor Kowalski, White Rob is an old friend of Franklin’s from high school, a member of his OG team and the one who introduced him to his first plug, Avi. That’s why Rob’s brief but important appearance in Season 4 mattered to hardcore Snowfallers who reveled in seeing his familiar face.
“Franklin needed an access point in the valley, and Rob is already there” Snowfall EP and writer Leonard Chang talks to TVLine about White Rob, which he included in the script for Episode 2, titled “Weight.” Like Franklin and Rob, Chang has been a part of FX’s beloved crime drama from the start. He also co-wrote episode 7 of this season with new screenwriter Jeanine Daniels.
“Rob’s father sells pornography and was already somehow involved in the drug game, and Rob became a middleman to sell drugs in the valley for Franklin,” Chang explains. “And they have always remained friends. He is the aberrant in the crew that brings in money.
In Episode 2, Rob had Franklin’s back during Manboy’s unsuccessful attempt to eliminate Skully.
“Franklin could trust Rob to at least be the driver,” he said. “At this point in Season 4, Franklin had to buckle down and rely on his closest family and friends.”
Don’t worry, White Rob fans. His appearance in a singular episode had more to do with COVID than Franklin’s confidence in him, and he will likely be back next year when the series returns.
“We wanted to bring it more for Season 4, but due to the pandemic and the lineup we ended up using it less,” Chang said. “But we’re actually trying to bring Rob back into Season 5.”
At least Rob’s return is an option. Other characters, like the cutthroat investigative journalist Irene Abe (Dead to me‘s Suzy Nakamura), were not so lucky. After Irene tried to expose the CIA as a drug supplier, Teddy killed her. While a number of fans hoped for her demise because she posed a threat to Franklin’s drug empire, Irene was also an Asian American at a time when anti-Asian sentiments and hate crime had increased.
Chang, an American Korean born in Spanish Harlem, says he feared Irene’s inevitable death would send the wrong message. But it’s also loosely based on real-life investigative reporter Gary Webb, who wrote about the CIA’s reported involvement in the crack epidemic and died in what some believe to be staged suicide. .
“As an Asian American, I am very sensitive to these issues,” Chang says. “However, we based it on Gary Webb, and like Gary, she got too close. We decided to make her Japanese American even before the Trump-isms and anti-Asian sentiments. He was really important to us. to diversify the landscape and to honor the spectacle and to understand the American-Japanese contingency of South Central South Central is more diverse than it is often portrayed on screen.
The Writers’ Room also wanted to pay tribute to Asian American activists who demonstrated alongside the Black Panthers in northern California, an experience shared by Irene and Franklin’s father, Alton.
“Irene went to UC Berkeley and was in the Bay Area when Alton was there,” Chang adds. “This thing about his knowledge of the Black Panthers was an experience set in reality. There were a lot of social justice movements in the ’60s and’ 70s that involved the Black Panther movement and Asian Americans protesting in the struggle. We wanted to be true to these historical details, and making Irene an Asian American made that connection easy.
Moreover, he maintains, Snowfall will be here long after the current wave of anti-Asian aggression has worn off, and knowledge brings comfort to him.
“The story we are trying to tell is important to posterity,” Chang presumes. “We don’t just tell a story in a show. We really try to honor a semblance of authenticity. It’s a fictional story, but there is a lot we can do with this wonderful cast that is more meaningful to us and hopefully our audience.