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The Flash's Joe West 'rises up' for Season 7 in response to recent civil unrest in America

By Josh Weiss
Jesse L. Martin Joe West The Flash

The CW's Flash series is going to get very topical for its seventh season. According to showrunner Eric Wallace, Joe West (played by Jesse L. Martin) will receive a character arc inspired by the recent civil unrest in the United States. Anti-racism protests have taken place around the world since Minneapolis resident George Floyd died in police custody in late May.

"Joe’s story line this season is inspired by the societal changes happening in today’s world," Wallace recently told Entertainment Weekly about Iris's father, who is a police detective. "Because with everything we’re all waking up to each day in 2020, I felt there was a great opportunity here — even within our fantastical, family-oriented show — to comment indirectly on truths folks could easily recognize. And do so in an entertaining way."

The showrunner was tight-lipped when it came to letting go of specific plot details, but teased that "Joe gets challenged by the events of the world that are going on nowadays. Of course, in a sci-fi superhero way, because we're on a superhero show. And he really rises up."

Jesse L. Martin The Flash

Since West is a cop, he's perfectly placed to explore the relevant topic of abusive police behavior. Wallace continued: "I'm so excited for Jesse to take Joe in just a little bit of a new direction. Because Joe's a good man with a good heart. And if he sees injustice, he's not a person who turns a blind eye to it. He's a person who says something and does something."

Wallace concluded that Joe's crucial storyline doesn't begin until the middle of Season 7, but will leave him "in a place that's unexpected for him," while also being "honorable and very aware of today's problems from a law perspective."

The Flash is set to return for Season 7 in early 2021 on The CW.