The Wild Storyline From Hulu’s Woke That Actually Turned Out To Be True

Spoilers below for anyone who hasn't yet watched Hulu's Woke Season 2, so be warned!

Woke Season 2 hit Hulu on Friday, and the comedy centered around discussions of race and social issues has really upped the ante for Round 2. As Lamorne Morris’ Keef Knight continues to navigate his newfound activism and the fame that comes with it, the show sets up some bonkers scenarios. Given that it heavily features inanimate objects speaking directly to our protagonist, a lot of the show’s humorous exaggerations aren’t the kind of things meant to be taken literally. However, it turns out the truth is still stranger than fiction, according to creator Keith Knight. 

In Season 2, Keef heads a program that donates shoes to the homeless, and conspiracy theorists on the internet begin accusing the program of being a way to create a plethora of 5G hot spots. Creator Keith Knight had the idea, and it wasn’t until after all was said and done that he discovered the plot point was oddly similar to a situation that occurred at Austin’s South by Southwest in 2012. As he explained to CinemaBlend during our interview at WonderCon 2022:

Actually, so, I thought I just made up that idea, but Anthony [King] turned me on to an article, he shared an article that that was a true thing. They were making homeless hotspots, South by Southwest. And I was like, wow… and that’s what I love about what we’re doing with the show. Which is, we’re coming up with stuff that sounds plausible, like that could happen, and that’s part of what makes it work.

Of course, at SXSW it was the more time-appropriate 4G hotspots that were being spread. Dubbed the ‘Homeless Hotspots’ project, homeless men around the festival wore tee shirts advertising the wireless service being provided, and festival goers could connect to the network for a fee. Of course, the program received a ton of backlash.

In Season 2 of Woke, the 5G hotspot sitch turned out to be more than just a conspiracy theory, as the hotspots were literally found in the soles of the free shoes they were handing out to the homeless. In the show it was a hilarious and unexpected reveal, but when Keith Knight wrote it, he had no idea how closely it reflected a real-life incident.

For any fan of comedy, Woke is worth checking out. As previously mentioned it stars New Girl vet Lamorne Morris, who has been involved in some pretty cool projects since the Fox show’s end. It also features Blake Anderson, who hasn’t stopped telling weed jokes since the end of Workaholics. Another notable presence is SNL alum Sasheer Zamata, who more recently voiced a character in the Oscar-nominated The Mitchells vs the Machines.

Woke is loosely based on the true story of cartoonist Keith Knight who, after a harrowing experience of police brutality and racial profiling, becomes “woke.” In the show this is conveyed through inanimate objects speaking to him and giving advice, such as J.B. smooves character, who is simply a maker with eyes and a mouth. You can imagine that with such exaggerated concepts, it was a shocker for the prolific writer to learn that one such joke was disturbingly true. If only one of those shoe-based hotspots had spoken up to tell him about it. 

You can see Woke on Hulu right now! The streaming service has a solid lineup of new releases making for a very bingeworthy April. As for what’s coming to TV in general, check out our list of 2022 TV premiere dates.

Jeff McCobb
Senior Video Producer

Jeff is a film buff who is full of gratitude that he gets to spout opinions about them for a living. He currently resides in Los Angeles, where he spends his time complaining about Los Angeles.