Civil Rights Group Wants Fox to Cancel ‘Cops’

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  • A civil rights group wants to see “Cops” on permanent lockdown.

    ColorOfChange has asked Fox not to renew the unscripted law-enforcement show and is calling upon advertisers to withdraw support, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively.

    This morning, the group is sending supporters an email in which it asks them to sign a petition to that effect.

    “Although marketed as unbiased, ‘Cops’ actually 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,” the email reads in part.

    It goes on to charge “Cops” and shows like it with over-representing whites as police officers and under-representing minorities as authority figures. According to ColorOfChange, “Cops” glosses over issues such as police misconduct and broadcasts “dehumanizing portrayals” of suspects.

    “We’re sending the message to Fox and to advertisers that Cops is not worth saving,” says Rashad Robinson, executive director of ColorOfChange.

    A Fox rep tells THR the network has not made a decision on “Cops” and said it would not comment on the petition.

    “Cops,” now in its 25th season, has long delivered strong ratings for the network at a relatively low cost. However, Fox cut back its order for “Cops” from 22 episodes last season to 16 this season in favor of beefing up its sports programming on Saturday nights, which is when “Cops” airs.

    In its criticism of “Cops,” ColorOfChange points to research it says media representations such as those on Cops can lead to stigmatization of black men.

    “Against the real-world backdrop of an American culture that views young men like Trayvon Martin and Jordan Russell Davis with suspicion,” the email continues, “the stakes couldn’t be higher.”

    In January, ColorOfChange launched a similar campaign against “All My Babies’ Mamas,” a reality special in development at Oxygen, which centered on rapper Shawty Lo, who has 11 children with 10 different women. Its petition attracted more than 40,000 signatures and Oxygen eventually shelved the project.

    “Cops’” one-hour season finale airs May 4 at 8 p.m. on Fox.

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    Comments

    3 thoughts on “Civil Rights Group Wants Fox to Cancel ‘Cops’

    1. we live in a day and age where people of color are highly successfull in all career fields, the movement is over, move on, we do not live in an era where people are made to sit in the back of the bus or use different water fountains or worry about being hanged at the nearest tree or have a cross burning in their front yards, ect… wanna do something about the young people of color getting arrested, then go into their neighborhoods and find out what you can do to change the criminal behavior and environment, the “white man keeping us down campaign” is so outdated by about 40 years, get over it and move on do something creative and helpful to todays society and troubled youth.

    2. This is a bunch of hoopla about nothing. All of carnage, juvenile delinquents and high School drops out in our neighborhood and they are worried about a show that shows real Police arresting some of the same thugs that continuously terrorize our neighborhood. What they should do is do a ride along with their neighborhood police then they would have first hand information and see that the same thing they see on Fox actually happens daily, then maybe they can then use their resources on something positive in the neighborhood rather than this vain feel good bull shit!

    3. I don’t know why ColorofChange wants Fox to cancel the show. Personally, I’ve noticed how it inadvertently shows the bias cops show to suspects, based on race.. That may be due to the nature of the program. Cops aren’t aware that their alternative motives are displayed. I hope the group finds a really exploitative program to highlight. Leave Cops alone.

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