It remains to be seen whether racial activists will realize their ultimate dream of “defunding the police,” thus casting the United States of America into a period of darkness and crime from which it will never recover. But even if that nightmare is a long way from becoming a reality (except, apparently, in the dystopia known as Minneapolis), the war on police has already claimed a casualty – if a somewhat less important one. Paramount Network announced this week that they are canceling the long-running TV reality series “Cops” amid the racial unrest.
“Cops is not on the Paramount Network and we don’t have any current or future plans for it to return,” a network spokesperson said.
The series, which followed police as they investigated and apprehended suspects on their usual beats, premiered in 1989, making it one of the longest-running series on television. While it moved from free network television (Fox) to cable (Spike TV/Paramount) in 2013, it continued to provide viewers with an inside look at the sometimes-bizarre, sometimes-frightening, never-dull world of policing. So successful was the program during its run that it inspired countless imitators and copycats, including A&E’s “Live PD.”
But while you may have believed that “Cops” was harmless entertainment, a group called Color for Change has some bad news for you: The show is actually responsible for untold harms in our culture.
“For more than 30 years, Cops has miseducated the public and normalized injustice,” said the group’s Arisha Hatch. “Crime television encourages the public to accept the norms of over-policing and excessive force and reject reform, while supporting the exact behavior that destroys the lives of Black people. Cops led the way, pushing troubling implications for generations of viewers. Now it’s time for other networks to cancel similarly harmful shows. We call on A&E to cancel Live PD next. In a moment when everyone wants to proclaim that Black Lives Matter, we must hold these companies accountable to put actions to words with a complete industry overhaul.”
Right. A few questions, if you will.
One, does “Cops” do more or less harm than a statue of Robert E. Lee or a Confederate Flag?
Two, aren’t white people arrested in roughly-equivalent numbers on the show? Was “Cops” also destroying white lives, then?
Three, when BLM succeeds in “defunding the police,” can we have a new show called “No Cops” to show viewers the ramifications of such a decision?
Whatcha gonna do when they come for you, indeed.