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Old 06-10-2020, 12:04 AM   #1
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Default Cops canceled at Paramount Network amid police brutality protests

The George Floyd protests over police brutality has claimed the long-running reality show, which was originally scheduled to kick off its 33rd season on Monday before it was yanked on Friday. "Cops is not on the Paramount Network and we don’t have any current or future plans for it to return," said a Paramount Network spokesperson. Cops premiered on Fox in 1989, airing for 25 seasons. In 2013, SpikeTV picked up Cops, which continued airing for seven seasons as Spike became Paramount Network. Cops has faced scrutiny for promoting pro-police propaganda, or "copaganda." The Running from Cops podcast last year detailed the show's flaws, including coercing suspects into signing releases. The cancelation comes one week after Paramount Network parent company ViacomCBS vowed "to shine a light on the realities of racial injustice and call for equality" and to "foster a culture that deeply values and respects diversity and inclusion" in wake of Floyd's killing.


A black man's violent death in police custody last year was filmed for Live PD

The A&E reality show's cameras were rolling in March 2019 when Javier Ambler, 40, was stopped by a Williamson County sheriff’s deputy in Texas for failing to dim the headlights of his SUV to oncoming traffic. "Twenty-eight minutes later, the black father of two sons lay dying on a North Austin street after deputies held him down and used Tasers on him four times while a crew from A&E’s reality show Live PD filmed," reports the Austin-American Statesman. Ambler's death is making news after police released body cam footage of the incident on Monday. Ambler can be heard saying the same phrase as George Floyd -- "I can't breathe." As deputies yelled at Ambler to lay on his stomach and put his hands behind his back, one deputy pressed his taser into his back. "I have congestive heart failure,” Ambler can be heard saying. “I have congestive heart failure. I can’t breathe.” At another point, he yells out: "Save me." Moments later, his hands go limp and the deputies placed him in handcuffs, and realize that he is unconscious and his pulse has stopped.
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Old 06-10-2020, 06:33 AM   #2
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WGN America's commitment to the show expires at the end of June and the cable network, owned by Nexstar, doesn't plan to renew it, sources told The Hollywood Reporter.
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Old 06-11-2020, 04:51 PM   #3
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It will be hard to escape the legacy of Cops and other fear-mongering crime shows

The cancelation of Cops and Live PD this week are positive steps in reversing TV's flawed police portrayals, but that won't change how viewers have been hard-wired for decades to see the police point of view. "A TV series is a ride-along," says James Poniewozik. "It places you in the perspective of the protagonist, whether that protagonist is valorized or not. We have spent innumerably more hours looking through the windshield from the perspective of the police than of the policed. If we’re going to continue to have crime shows, better to have more thoughtful, nuanced ones. But I’m less optimistic about the ability of TV to overcome its cultural wiring, which is to use the easy, perpetual engine of conflict that crime stories provide: Someone bad did something bad, and someone good needs to catch them. The changes coming from the wave of protests across America may be deep and have lasting effects. They may even mean a generational change in attitudes among the people participating, or those listening to them. But that will run up against generations of narratives in the minds of Americans who have unwound in front of the TV for decades. No one, after all, forced those broadcast audiences to sit down for those still relatively popular nightly hours of crime. And when a politician goes on Twitter or stands at a convention declaring for 'LAW & ORDER!' those viewers have an enormous mental library of images to illustrate the slogan."

  • For decades, Cops was a key component of American law enforcement’s manicured self-image: "The show presented itself as an apolitical documentary record of What It’s Like for Police, assembled in the spirit of Sgt. Joe Friday, the uber-cop hero of Dragnet," says Matt Zoller Seitz. "But this presentation was loaded with its own, unremarked-upon assumptions. Chief among them was the idea that police are innately decent, disinterested, caring people who are mostly great at what they do, and screw up only because of unrelenting pressure and threat of death or injury, as well as the public’s inability to understand and respect how tough the job is (downsides that Cops tried to refute by consistently presenting citizens as irresistible forces and police as immovable objects). The series rarely showed police as troubled by anything but lack of funding or public support. Corruption, cynicism, or incompetence were rarely acknowledged and never examined at length. Nor did the show get into the disproportionate effect of police brutality on poor and/or minority citizens or the greater likelihood of police interrogating or arresting them in the first place. Following journalism’s 'if it bleeds, it leads' dictum, Cops focused on street crime and minor disturbances, often involving working-class or poor people, never on corporate or white-collar criminals."
  • Cops was criticized when it premiered in 1989: “The dominant image is hammered home again and again: the overwhelmingly white troops of police are the good guys; the bad guys are overwhelmingly black,” the New York Times wrote upon its premiere on Fox. “Little is said about the ultimate sources of the drugs, and nothing is mentioned about Florida’s periodic scandals in which the police themselves are found to be trafficking in drugs.” A Los Angeles Times review noted that “the camera assumes the disgusting role of hanging judge by prematurely filling the screen with the faces of numerous suspects swept up in drug busts, some of whom may turn out to be innocent or may even go uncharged, for all we know.”
  • Disney, which distributes Cops reruns to local stations, is in talks to provide replacement shows

Cellphone footage of police brutality made Cops obsolete

Cops, which was canceled last week after 31 years, became a reliable recruiting tool and a way for police departments to rehab their reputation (like the LAPD in the aftermath of Rodney King beating and the Los Angeles Riots), says Sophie Gilbert. "Cops wasn’t really portraying reality," says Gilbert. "It was propaganda, crystallized and edited into addictive portions, served up without any of the local context or personal information or historical detail that might slow down the rush of seeing so-called criminals taken off the streets. It was the longest-running prime-time show in the United States, and it was always filmed in partnership with local police forces." Gilbert adds: "What seems to have damned the show most of all, and facilitated its overdue end, is actual documentary video—captured not by professionals, but by bystanders with cellphones. If Cops is a simulacrum of American police work, polished and cut and spliced into a hollow replica, the videos of police officers killing Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Keith Lamont Scott, Danny Ray Thomas, Eric Garner, George Floyd, and too, too many others are indubitably real. And in recent weeks, videos depicting officers abusing their power—in response to largely peaceful protests across the country—have flooded the internet. No producers have edited the footage showing officers in Buffalo, New York, pushing 75-year-old Martin Gugino onto the ground with such force that they damaged his brain. No police chief has approved the videos of NYPD cruisers hurtling into crowds, sending protesters literally flying. The era of valorized cops on TV is over."

Last edited by TMC; 06-16-2020 at 02:12 AM.
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