By Ron Wynn
NASHVILLE, TN — One of the longest running and most controversial “reality” shows ever seems set to return soon. For several years the show “Cops” was widely syndicated depicting what its producers claimed was a fair and accurate portrayal of police officers daily encounters. Its critics felt it was pro police propaganda, a show that offered video apologies, excuses and justifications for questionable, sometimes open misconduct and brutality. Both it and “Live PD” were canceled last year as a wave of protests swept the nation after the killing of George Floyd by police officer Derek Chauvin.
But “Cops” is making a comeback. It’s getting revived on Fox Nation, the subscription-based streaming platform of Fox News media. The announcement was revealed this week in Newsweek and also various entertainment publications.
“Cops” is one of the most iconic brands on television with an incredibly passionate fan base,” Jason Klarman, president of Fox Nation, said in a statement this week. That attitude is not shared by various groups that have long denounced the program. The most vocal is Color of Change. They fought from 2013 until 2020 to get “Cops” taken off the air.
Jade Magnus Ogunnaike, Senior Director of Media, Culture, and Economic Justice at Color Of Change told Newsweek that Cops is an “insidious program.” “Color Of Change’s members fought for eight years to have the television show “Cops” canceled for a reason: It is an insidious program that distorts the truth about crime in our country and purposefully encourages the public to support the harmful behavior of police, prosecutors, and other law enforcement figures,” Ogunnaike said.
“Cops and shows like it should not be televised—on any network,” she added.
Ogunnaike said Fox Nation’s decision to revive the series is “repugnant.” She continued that “the outlet is elevating “Cops” as vigilantes fighting a non-existent crime wave, while Black people continue to be harmed and murdered by police violence.”
The group said they will continue to “advocate for honest portrayals of our criminal justice system on TV and more accurate, honest and expansive depictions of Black people and the systemic issues that impact our lives.”