'Cops' under arrest: Paramount pulls plug on long-running US reality show amid rise in anti-police sentiment
The docuseries was first aired on Fox in 1989 and follows law enforcement professionals as they go on patrol and serve arrest warrants. It was canceled in 2013, but ViacomCBS network Spike TV soon picked it up. Since rebranded as Paramount Network, the channel continued airing 'Cops' up until mid-May, and the new season had been expected to debut on Monday.
Last week, the doom looming over 'Cops' became apparent, when Paramount Network failed to put it on its schedule. Monday primetime on the network was instead packed with 'Ghostbusters' reruns. On Wednesday, the company confirmed that the show had been axed in the wake of nationwide protests against police brutality triggered by the death of George Floyd.
"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 in a statement.
Earlier, the A&E Network stopped broadcasting 'Live PD,' an unscripted show similar to 'Cops.' The popular program is scheduled to return on June 12, however.
The US entertainment industry has been put under intense pressure to drop content like police procedurals or cop-buddy comedies, which according to critics whitewash police misconduct by portraying officers in a positive way. Popular franchises seem to be resisting so far, but some concessions to public anger have been made.Also on rt.com Authoritarian liberals calling to end cop movies/TV shows NOW will NOT fix any racism or police brutality problems
Warren Leight, the showrunner of classic procedural 'Law & Order: SVU' said the death of Floyd and the darker sides of police work will be addressed in the upcoming season 22. "Presumably our cops will still be trying to do the right thing but it's going to be harder for them and they're going to understand why it's hard for them," he told the Hollywood Reporter.
But the industry did provide a few sacrificial offerings to the angry public lately. HBO Max dropped 'Gone with the Wind' over its romanticized portrayal of racial relations in the post-Civil War American South. And the 2000s sketch comedy show 'Little Britain' got booted from several streaming platforms, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Britbox, over a black female character played in the series by a white male actor wearing blackface.Also on rt.com ‘Times have changed’: BBC iPlayer and Britbox follow Netflix to REMOVE hit show 'Little Britain' over BLACKFACE controversy
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