‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist’ Star John Clarence Stewart Says Simon Has Hard Decisions Ahead

Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist Season John Clarence Stewart Jane Levy
Sergei Bachlakov/NBC/Lionsgate

The musical dramedy Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist hits a high note as John Clarence Stewart‘s Simon Haynes takes center stage.

Having been recently (and unexpectedly) promoted to spokesman for the tech company SPRQ Point, “The questions that Simon had of ‘Why me?’ are getting answered,” Stewart says. In the February 2 episode, he learns that the struggling company’s facial-recognition software on its Chirp watch has trouble identifying people of color — a public relations nightmare.

Simon, who is Black, faces a difficult choice: “Will he shield the company with his face and his words, or hold the company accountable in public? What does it look like to actually bring about change that’s not cosmetic, that actually shifts the needle?”

The fallout from his decision dominates the February 9 episode, which features music from Black artists as his friend and boss, Zoey Clarke (Jane Levy), sees people’s inner thoughts revealed via song-and-dance numbers.

Zoey's Playlist Season 2 Simon John Clarence Stewart

Sergei Bachlakov/NBC/Lionsgate

“We’re a snowball running downhill really fast,” Stewart says of the growing office tension, which honors the employees’ unique experiences in the workplace and confronts their blind spots. “It’s a really beautiful thing to watch these characters navigate this avalanche.”

Here’s a clip featuring Stewart in Tuesday’s episode.

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, Tuesdays, 8/7c, NBC