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Producer Will Packer Celebrates 8.5 Million Viewers Tuning in to 'Roots' Remake

Roots is now the most-watched miniseries in the last three years.
Producer Will Packer Celebrates 8.5 Million Viewers Tuning in to ‘Roots’ Remake
Paras Griffin/Getty Images for History/Roots

The numbers are in for the Roots remake, and it’s another huge success for producer Will Packer.

The first episode of the 2016 Roots miniseries aired on Memorial Day and while the decision to revive the project nearly 40 years later has been met with mixed reviews from the public, people certainly tuned in on the holiday.

Executive producer Will Packer took to his personal Instagram page to celebrate the news that over 5.3 million viewers watched the premiere, making it the most-watched miniseries in the last three years. He also noted that the total number of viewers, including those who tuned in to catch the re-airings throughout the night, was an impressive 8.5 million.

Will Packer Talks ‘Roots’, Racism in Hollywood and More on ‘ESSENCE Live’

…And over 8.5 Million total with the re-airings throughout the night!!! THANK YOU!!!!

A photo posted by Will Packer (@willpowerpacker) on

Shortly after the program aired, Snoop Dogg spoke out to criticize the show’s ‘slave narrative’ and even suggested that Black people as a whole should refrain from watching the premiere when it aired.

Although Packer says he understands why some people feel it’s not something that needs to be revisited in present-day, he also made it clear that he doesn’t quite agree with those opinions. 

“They’re uncomfortable revisiting the reality of that time. I understand it. But at the same time, I vehemently disagree,” Packer told the Tallahassee Democrat. Speaking specifically on Snoop’s comments, Packer elaborated to say that he finds it ironic how comfortable Snoop was referring to himself as an N-word in the same breath that he condemned modern day shows telling the story of slavery.

“I think that while I certainly don’t judge Snoop at all because I’m very flawed myself, I just think the irony of having him saying and using the n-word, saying, ‘A real n-word like me wouldn’t watch this,” he said. “I couldn’t help but think there’s a ghost of some horrendous slave owner that is smiling and smirking as he watches this black man say that and call himself that. I think that slave owner probably said, ‘Preach. I agree.’

The Roots miniseries is currently airing over four consecutive nights through Friday, June 3.

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