Amid all the anti-police rhetoric consuming the country right now, The Washington Post’s Alyssa Rosenberg added to the mix by calling for an end to all police shows on television: CSI, Law & Order, Blue Bloods, Criminal Minds, etc.
According to Rosenberg, canceling cop shows would be the best way for the entertainment industry to put their money where their mouth is when issuing statements about race relations and police brutality.
“There’s no question that it would be costly for networks and studios to walk away from the police genre entirely,” Rosenberg writes, as reported by Newsbusters. “Canceling Dick Wolf’s ‘Chicago’ franchise of shows would wipe out an entire night of NBC’s prime-time programming; dropping ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’ and a planned spinoff would cut even further into the lineup.”
Rosenberg goes on to write how Hollywood and police departments have been collaborating on projects throughout the years, leading the industry to whitewash police shootings and valorize the police.
“For a century, Hollywood has been collaborating with police departments, telling stories that whitewash police shootings and valorizing an action-hero style of policing over the harder, less dramatic work of building relationships with the communities cops are meant to serve and protect,” she writes. “There’s a reason for that beyond a reactionary streak hiding below the industry’s surface liberalism.”
“Purely from a dramatic perspective, crime makes a story seem consequential, investigating crime generates action, and solving crime provides for a morally and emotionally satisfying conclusion,” she added.
Rosenberg takes aim specifically at the reality show “Cops,” which for years has been blamed for allegedly pushing racist stereotypes that make people fear black and brown criminals. As Newsbusters noted, however, “Cops” creator Michael Langley previously admitted to favoring the exhibition of white criminals over black criminals.
Going forward with this new form of programming, Rosenberg states that audiences are going to have to accept watching a new kind of cop show.
“Say writers made a commitment not to exaggerate the performance of police,” she writes. “Audiences would have to be retrained to watch, for example, a version of ‘Special Victims Unit’ where the characters cleared only 33.4 percent of rape cases, or to accept that in almost 40 percent of murders and manslaughters, no suspect is arrested. If storytelling focused on less-dramatic but more-common crimes such as burglary and motor-vehicle theft, the stakes would shrink — along with the case-clearance rate.”
As riots and protests have gripped the nation, anti-police rhetoric has gone way beyond the bipartisan call for police training reform. The far-left activist organization Black Lives Matter recently joined the hashtag #DefundThePolice and issued a list of demands.
“We call for an end to the systemic racism that allows this culture of corruption to go unchecked and our lives to be taken,” said the organization. “We call for a national defunding of police. We demand investment in our communities and the resources to ensure Black people not only survive, but thrive. If you’re with us, add your name to the petition right now and help us spread the word.”
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