Why Mac Is Humanized in Episode 7

Season 1 Episode 107
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When Greenleaf begins, Robert "Mac" McCready is introduced to viewers as a villainous figure who may be preying on the children of Memphis. At first, we rarely see glimpses of Mac as a human being, a member of a family and a church. That all changes, however, in the seventh episode of Greenleaf, "One Train May Hide Another."

Co-executive producers Oprah Winfrey and Craig Wright say the choice to give Mac new dimensions was deliberate. "I could feel Mac becoming a bit of a cartoon, like falsely simplistic," Craig says. "I didn't want it to feel like a comic book, and the only way to do that was to humanize him, and that means we have to get into his point of view and see how he sees the world and see how he experiences the world."

Oprah says her years of conducting Oprah Show interviews informed the decision to portray Mac as a real and complex person. "I think it's important to see the Greenleaf world through Mac's eyes because, in all the years and all the stories I've ever done about men who are abusers, every one was somebody's child, somebody's brother, somebody's uncle, somebody's cousin, somebody's friend, somebody who works right next to you."

Perhaps the most unnerving aspect of Mac's character, Oprah points out, isn't his extraordinarily heinous acts but his ordinary humanity. "One of the reasons it's been so hard for people to receive and accept is because people think it's the face of the bogeyman," Oprah says. "It isn't. It's somebody in your family, somebody's family, so that's why it was important."