Cops, which started with the concept of showing how the police operate, is to be cancelled by Paramount network in wake of the recent Black lives Matter protest following the death of George Floyd after being arrested by police outside a shop in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
- Cops: What it was meant to be and what it became!
- Criticism for glorifying police aggression led to the cancellation of Cops
- How Paramount is not helping the “Black Lives Matter” movement by cancelling Cops?
Footage of the arrest showed a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeling on Floyd’s neck while he was pinned to the floor on charges of using a counterfeit $20 bill. The episode took Paramount making its worst-ever mistake of cancelling the long-running reality show, Cops. Read on to know why.
Paramount’s decision of shelving ‘Cops’ season 33, in the wake of protests, will lead to people losing track of police activities. Without season 33 and beyond, we will never get to know if there is any cultural and behavioural change in the police system. Whether the police learnt the lesson will always remain unknown.
Cops: What it was meant to be and what it became!
In 1989, the documentary-style crime program ‘Cops’, promising an intimate look at the daily activities of law enforcement officers, forayed in the world of reality TV when reality TV was also at its nascent stage. Many, at that time, could not get enough of it, media clamoured to cover the debut of this unique TV formula.
“Having no script to follow and no ponderous narration …diluting its drama, Cops delivers ‘real-life’ TV that is as straightforward as a nightstick to the kidneys”, the Globe review said.
American television program, Cops went on for 30 years, making loyal fans in its journey. Prostitution busts, drug raids, and foot chases enticed the viewers. It seemed that the formula worked and the action-packed drama struck the right chord with the audience. But, as its popularity rose, a wide section of social activists charged ‘Cops’ for glorifying aggression, celebrating bad policing, and cementing racial supremacy.
“Crime TV plays a significant role in advancing distorted representations of crime, justice, race & gender within culture & #Cops led the way, pushing troubling implications for generations of viewers”, the civil rights group “Color of Change” said.
A campaign was run, urging the former network Fox airing ‘Cops’ to cancel the show. So, this is not the first time that the longest-running reality show has been cancelled. ‘Cops’ became a show that glorified officers, normalized questionable police tactics, and reinforced racial stereotypes. The first show that exposed the American audience to law enforcement in the field became the symbol of police propaganda.
Scroll down to know why it has been cancelled, again!
Glorifying police aggression led to the cancellation of Cops
This is not the first time ‘Cops’ has been cancelled. “Color of Change”, the civil rights group, ran a campaign in 2013 to end the show and criticized its “intentional focus on Black, Latino, and low-income neighbourhoods, and its highly selective portrayal of race”.
FOX asserted to this demand. But the show survived criticism and a change in networks and schedule and ran for another 30 years. ‘Cops’ kept rolling until the protests sparked by George Floyd’s killing compelled Paramount to pull the show from its network.
“’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, according to “The Hollywood Reporter”.
The decision was applauded by a wide section of the media and civil rights groups, especially “Color of Change”. We have already lost the battle by letting the TV show ‘Cops’ run for 30 years. Cancelling it now is the worst mistake Paramount will make. Scroll down to know why.
How Paramount is not helping the #BlackLivesMatter by cancelling Cops?
Paramount is thinking that they have contributed positively to the “Black Lives Matter” movement by cancelling the longest-running reality TV show ‘Cops’ just before season 33’s premiere. According to “New York Times”, ‘Cops’ was hardly a rating powerhouse for the Paramount Network.
The viewership was reduced to 4,70,000 in total, per episode, which is less than any of the high-profile cable reality show. Now, what change can we expect by cancelling this little-watched show? We have grown up with the series and the stereotypes it cemented. American audiences have grown up with shows like ‘Cops’. Primetime shows are often about law enforcement agencies.
Cancelling the TV show ‘Cops’ is running away from trouble. A better option would have been to take a break and come back with a reformed concept. In Cops, season 33, we would have been able to know whether the law enforcement guys have actually learnt their lessons or not. “Black Lives Matter” is the very reason why the cancellation of ‘Cops’ is the wrong decision.
Let us know in the comments box below if you support the cancellation of Cops or if you want Cops to return with a reformed concept in season 33 and beyond. Do you think the police drama could bring a cultural revolution in the policing system if allowed to reboot for season 33?