Paramount Network has canceled Cops, a long-running reality TV series, ahead of a 33rd season scheduled to premiere June 15. (Disclosure: Paramount Network is owned by ViacomCBS, the parent company of CNET.)
“‘Cops’ is not on the Paramount Network and we don’t have any current or future plans for it to return,” a spokeswoman for the network said.
Fox canceled Cops in 2013, after a campaign from civil rights group Color of Change urged the network to drop the show.
Color of Change said the network, the show’s producers and the advertisers “have built a profit model around distorted and dehumanizing portrayals of black Americans and the criminal justice system” (via The New York Times).
It also said that the show “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.”
A few months after the show’s cancelation in March, Paramount Network, then known as Spike TV, picked it up in May. The show marked its 1,000th episode in 2017.
“This is the right move and I want to give Paramount credit for being one of the first,” said Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color of Change, in response to the recent cancelation. “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.”
Color of Change tweeted Tuesday: “Crime TV plays a significant role in advancing distorted representations of crime, justice, race & gender within culture & Cops led the way, pushing troubling implications for generations of viewers.”
The organization continued: “Crime shows like Cops have a huge influence over the way the public thinks about criminal justice and by misrepresenting this system, these shows turn people against overdue reform efforts.”