Production of Queen Latifah‘s new drama series “The Equalizer” has been suspended due to a positive Covid-19 test.
Filming was halted and the producers asked those in close contact with the infected individual to self-isolate, according to Deadline.
The Equalizer stars Queen Latifah, real name Dana Owens, as a tough-as-nails vigilante based on the character played by Edward Woodward on TV and Denzel Washington on the big screen.
Latifah said playing the part of a Black female superhero was “necessary” in the face of social, racial, and financial inequalities.
“The only reservation I had was Denzel,” Latifah told USA Today. “I had to figure out how to create a character that was going to be different from his and obviously not get in his lane, but not like the original, either.”
She said she liked the idea of “delivering some justice (as) a Black woman on network television. I thought the idea of it was incredible and necessary and fun.”
“When we started this project, little did we know that we would face a pandemic; we would face such amazing divisiveness in this country; we would have to deal with a real, real hard look at the racial inequities, of the social inequities, of the financial inequities of this country,” said the multi-millionaire actress.
“We just didn’t know that, God, would we need to see justice. There’s just so many different things that are going on that made this show timely.”
The series debuted after the Super Bowl on CBS on Sunday, Feb. 7, to mixed reviews. Some viewers were critical of the producers for casting former rapper Queen Latifah as single mom Robyn McCall, an “Overweight 50 year-old pre-diabetic woman who beats up dudes.”
One viewer wrote “This series is (like Batwoman) a glaring example of that strategy. Female black hero against bad white men. Male is bad. Men are evil!”
Despite the criticism, 20.4 million people tuned in to watch “The Equalizer” on Sunday night. The show was the top-rated TV series of the week.