Tuesday morning while driving to a meeting, I heard an interview with Aisha Hinds, who plays the police captain, on ABC’s Tuesday night show, “Detroit 187”. She was very down to earth and really appeared to like spending so much time in Detroit and Michigan.
Michael Imperioli who is the star of the show talked about a lot of things he and his family loved about Michigan in an earlier interview in The Detroit Free Press. He mentioned he and his family went “Up North” (a term any Michgander knows is northern Michigan), to Greenfield Village, took in a Tigers’ game among other sites and local landmarks. Imperioli said his family loved the area, especially his kids. Both stars have their favorite eating places (Hinds even encouraged listeners to let her know their favorites so she could try them and then shared hers ), but are willing to learn more about their “adopted” city. And, they both talked about how great and friendly Detroiters are–all the time.
Of course, these two people are stars in a TV series filmed in Detroit and want to keep their paychecks coming so you’d expect them to “talk up” the city. But “talking up” a city and having it be part of their corporate voice are different. You have to be careful about public perception. Imperioli, Hinds and the other stars know what to say and how to say it; more than I can say for many other stars and athletes when talking about the city’s they’re playing in, living in or starring in.
Early on when it was confirmed that “Detroit 187” would be filmed in Detroit, Dave Bing, the Mayor of Detroit, was worried how Detroit would be depicted in a weekly series about homicides and murder. He didn’t want the city image to be damaged any further. In my opinion, he doesn’t have to worry. For now, the positive corporate voices from the stars of the drama have garnered positive mediatude for the city and state and that has carried over into positive public perception. Another reason corporate voice is so important to learn and understand.