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How Cheer season 2 will explore Jerry Harris allegations

News of Cheer cast member Harris being arrested broke during the filming of season 2.

Jerry Harris in Cheer
Published: Tuesday, 11th January 2022 at 10:39 am

When Cheer made its Netflix debut in February 2020, the teammates of Navarro College's cheerleading squad quickly rose to fame, and Jerry Harris in particular became a fan-favourite amongst viewers.

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However, in September 2020, the 22-year-old was arrested and charged with the production of child pornography, while in December, he was indicted on new federal charges dating back three years, which alleged that he solicited minors to send him sexually explicit photos of themselves and enticed one minor to engage in sexual activity. He has denied the accusations.

Back in September, Netflix said in a statement to CNN: "Like everyone we are shocked by this news. Any abuse of minors is a terrible crime and we respect the legal process."

However, with season two premiering on Wednesday, fans are wondering whether the upcoming episodes will address the allegations against Harris and whether the former cast member will feature in the new series at all.

Here's everything we know so far about Cheer season two and how it will explore the Jerry Harris allegations.

How does Cheer season 2 address Jerry Harris allegations?

Cheer season 2

Netflix has hinted at how season two will cover the charges against Jerry Harris, which came to light as the show restarted filming after COVID-19 forced them to stop in March.

"It's definitely the hardest season I've ever had," coach Monica Aldama is heard saying in the clip. "I can't even process it right now."

Director Greg Whiteley has also spoken about how season two will handle the allegations ahead of its release, revealing that the news broke on the same day that Aldama made her Dancing with the Stars debut.

"I think I was very much like everybody else – I was floored and heartbroken," he said. "I tried to unpack what it was that I was feeling. Here was a person that I felt like I knew very, very well. But then there was news that led me to believe I didn't know everything about this person and that led to, in a weird way, me mourning the passing of the person that I thought I knew.

"I didn't find that there was anybody that was reluctant to talk about it on camera. And I really appreciated that, because just like their fame was impossible to ignore, what happened with Jerry would've been impossible to ignore because it impacted the team so severely."

When asked how he decided the ratio of how much of Harris to show in the episodes set before the charges come out, Whiteley said that he wanted to honour what was true.

"It's not easy but our job is to tell the story of that team. I think that the story is going to ultimately be the best version of itself when you are honouring what is true, and you're not running from it," he said.

"The series covers events as they unfolded, beginning in January 2020 through April 2021, so the charges against Jerry Harris are covered in depth in episode five. But we felt it was important to let viewers know up front that it’s not something we ignore, which is why we acknowledge it at the beginning of the first episode."

Following the charges against Harris last year, his spokesperson said: “We categorically dispute the claims made against Jerry Harris, which are alleged to have occurred when he was a teenager.

“We are confident that when the investigation is completed the true facts will be revealed.”

Whiteley added that the upcoming season also features interviews with the two brothers who brought the first allegations against Harris, as well as their mother.

"They were very gracious in agreeing to sit with us," he explained. "I'm grateful to all of them for their trust in us, and allowing us to tell their side of the story. Here are people that have an important story to tell, my job is to allow them to tell it.

"Hopefully, I'm asking questions that make it very comfortable for them to share the truth about their story, even if that truth is uncomfortable or hard to hear."

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Cheer season 2 arrives on Netflix on Wednesday 12th January. Read our guide to the best series on Netflix, or visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight.

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