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'Shoot The Messenger' Creator Taps Into Complexities Of Toronto's Somali Community

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Don't be surprised if you see parallels between CBC's "Shoot The Messenger" and the political drama of former Toronto mayor Rob Ford.

But the co-creator of CBC's latest crime drama wants you to know the series isn't the Rob Ford story.

"We wanted to know how to tell an interesting story using that as a jumping off point...but we wanted to tell the story of a politician who was kind of caught up in something that went over his head," said Sudz Sutherland.

In 2013, Canadian writers and producers Sutherland and his wife Jennifer Holness were doing research for the upcoming crime series when the Rob Ford drug scandal unfolded in the media.

The real-life events helped craft the series, which follows an ambitious young reporter, played by Canadian actress Elyse Levesque, who witnesses a murder she thinks is gang-related, only to find herself slowly drawn into an interconnected web of criminal and illicit activity.

The show also draws upon the gang and gun violence that's impacted the young men in Canada's Somali community. It's a move Sutherland expects he'll draw criticism for, but something he says is necessary to showcase the complexities of these fictional characters.

"We want to show these young men as young men who are complicated who are fathers, who are sons, who are brothers, lovers, who are friends," Sutherland told the Huffington Post Canada. You can see the full interview in the video below.

"Shoot The Messenger" premiers Oct. 10, 9 p.m. ET/9:30 p.m. NT on CBC.

With files from the Canadian Press

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