The Long-Running Series ‘Cops’ Has Been Canceled Amid George Floyd Protests
It’s over bad boys.
“Cops” the long-running series that premiered on Fox in 1989 has come to an end. Paramount Network, which took up the series six-years ago was dropped from the network last week in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
According to Deadline, the series will not be returning.
Last month’s death of George Floyd has catalyzed a movement in recent weeks setting off hundreds of protests and efforts to change racial injustice across the country and globe.
“Cops,” which was meant to premiere its 33rd season earlier this week, was wiped from broadcasting on June 1. According to the New York Times, the decision was long in the making. In 2013 the civil rights group Color of Change began to campaign against the show and urge Fox to renew the unscripted law-enforcement show. The group called on advertisers to withdraw support after the show’s producers and the advertisers “built a profit model around distorted and dehumanizing portrayals of black Americans and the criminal justice system.”
The group underlined that the unscripted series “offers a highly filtered version of crime and the criminal justice system — a ‘reality’ where the police are always competent, crime-solving heroes, and where the bad boys always get caught.”
At the time, Fox removed the series from its prime-time lineup. But it proved to be a small and very brief victory, Spike TV picked up the show that May and six years ago it was picked up by Paramount.
According to a report by Broadcasting & Cable in 2005, most police departments screened video from the series before they were broadcast to use as a recruiting tool.
The network’s decision to remove the series from its slots is being applauded by Color of Change and other organizations against the show’s content and messages.
“This is the right move and I want to give Paramount credit for being one of the first,” Rashad Robinson, the executive director of Color of Change told New York Times. “We want to see more. These cop reality shows that glorify police but will never show the deep level of police violence are not reality, they are P.R. arms for law enforcement. Law enforcement doesn’t need P.R. They need accountability in this country.”
The decision to remove the series from its slots is a pretty big move for Paramount considering it has provided “subpar if stable ratings.” According to Nielsen data, the show had about 470,000 total viewers per episode in mid-May.
Fortunately, it seems Paramount isn’t the only one shutting down glorification of the police. On June 5, A&E removed last weekend’s episodes of its hit docuseries Live PD. According to the New York Times, the network is still assessing when or if to bring the series back.