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6 Jun, 2020 14:33

Authoritarian liberals calling to end cop movies/TV shows NOW will NOT fix any racism or police brutality problems

Authoritarian liberals calling to end cop movies/TV shows NOW will NOT fix any racism or police brutality problems

The war on cops continues amidst the George Floyd protests, with the latest suggestion from the Left being to end movies and television shows about police in an effort to deculture them.

You’d be hard-pressed to argue Hollywood hasn’t supported the protests across the nation over Floyd’s death.

Stars have donated to funds to help bail out jailed protesters and shown constant — and sometimes vulgar — support of the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Some, however, don’t think this is enough. They want to see the entertainment industry go the extra mile by halting production on all movies and television shows focusing on police officers.

While this sounds like a radical position you’d likely only find in some rabbit hole of bickering on Twitter, the extreme take was actually published this week in an opinion piece for the Washington Post.

By presenting police protagonists in endless television procedurals — Law and Order: SVU, Chicago P.D., etc. — Alyssa Rosenberg argues Hollywood has created “an addiction to stories that portray police departments as more effective than they actually are; crime as more prevalent than it actually is; and police use of force as consistently justified.”

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This, she opines, has created a “complicity” between the industry and police.

She goes on to call for stories to depict the world not as it is, but “as it can be.” She even suggests canceling the long-running COPS, a reality series that invites cameras to follow police officers in major cities as they make arrests.

In a similar story published in Vulture, it’s argued that decades of police dramas and comedies are responsible for teaching Americans “that cops are the characters we should care about.”

Both stories even target Brooklyn Nine-Nine, a silly comedy about a police precinct that they say elicits too much sympathy from viewers through humor.

“Cop shows, regardless of whether they’re procedurals, also diminish the threat and shock of actual police violence. Their ubiquity makes it too easy for some audiences to ignore how TV’s police-centric worldview has calcified,” the Vulture story reads.

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The fact that such extremist, authoritarian thinking has gone mainstream on the Left displays the continuing trend to deculture police officers in the eyes of citizens.  

When talking about the complex issues of police brutality and racism in America, debates could go anywhere from the militarization of departments due to the expensive drug war to smaller issues like cops not living in the communities they police. Those are discussions that require more than slogans on signs, 160-word tweets and five minute news segments where people yell at each other.

Because those discussions appear too nuanced and deep for serious conversations in today’s broken culture, we are now arguing about silly network television shows almost no intelligent person likely sees as an entirely accurate depiction of reality. 

Skipping over the fact that these shows employ thousands, if not millions of people who would be out of jobs should Hollywood suddenly decide to put their wokeness on steroids, arguing that television has mainstreamed cops as good guys is ludicrous. Some of the most celebrated shows follow people who, in real life, would likely be viewed as despicable by any respectable human being.

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Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, Sons of Anarchy and other series delve into morally bankrupt characters and still elicit empathy from viewers. That is the power of art. To take a person or subject and show us the layers that we can’t always find in everyday life because of biases, limited experience etc. 

To argue primetime procedurals that follow police officers — and that are usually run by extremely liberal producers like Dick Wolf — have somehow created an “addiction” in people to side with the police is an argument that simply doesn’t hold water. It requires one to look at art without context and it asks us to ignore a television landscape that, more often than not, finds its most culturally impactful work when it moves beyond the mold of good guy versus bad guy. 

To argue against this ‘cancel anything that doesn’t show the world the way I want’ take is almost useless as it seems to be part of a larger effort coming from the Left to throw any and all extreme anti-police positions they can just to see what sticks with the public. 

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A movement built around the idea to “defund the police” is another thing you would expect to only see argued for on the extreme Left, but it’s yet another questionable cause that has gone mainstream.

John Legend, Jane Fonda, Lizzo, and other celebrities threw their support behind a “defund the police” movement this week. The group suggests that financing for police departments around the country should be slashed and put toward more social programs. It’s a strange idea considering many would argue money is currently needed for race sensitivity training and to filter out cops such as Derek Chauvin, the former officer now infamous for keeping his knee on Floyd’s neck as he said he couldn’t breathe.

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Blind support

If we really want to talk about Hollywood feeding a broken culture at the current moment, we should turn an eye toward their blind support for protesters around the nation. While there have been plenty of peaceful protests, many have devolved into looting and chaos that has no place in a movement arguing for less violence in the country.

Celebrities have refused, however, to acknowledge the negative side to these demonstrations in any serious way. On top of giving to funds that bail out jailed protesters — many of whom may be jailed for, you know, a reason — celebrities have had a strict wall up when it comes to arguments opposing all-out support for what’s happening.

Seth Rogen cursed out fans who argued against a Black Lives Matter post on his Instagram, and one writer who posted an image of himself with a rifle promising to defend his home against looters in Los Angeles was swiftly fired from a television gig by none other than Dick Wolf, the same producer behind so many of those television shows the Left seems to be arguing are toxic.

Criticizing police and supporting reform efforts is one thing, but making the case to defund and deculture police officers and punish any and all who present opposing viewpoints is the sort of authoritarian groupthink these anti-police liberals think they are fighting against. It solves nothing to trade one authoritarian system for another. And this may come as a shock to some on the Left, but canceling movies and television shows that depict police as protagonists will not suddenly fix any of these issues. It only feeds a climate of fear among artists and creators who are already ostracized and punished for not meeting the ever-changing woke standards of the culture. 

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.