The crime reality show has gone off the air in the wake of the ongoing protests.
ViacomCBS has made the executive decision to pull episodes of the long-running show Cops in the wake of nationwide protests against police brutality and the police-involved death of George Floyd. Cops, a documentary-style crime program, will no longer be airing on the Paramount Network, and there are no current or future plans to bring it back, according to a network spokesperson.
The show, which aired its first episode in 1989, more than three decades ago, was picked up by Paramount Network’s forerunner, Spike TV, in 2013 after it ended a 25-season run on Fox. In 2018, the show was rebranded for the new network and continued airing episodes. The show was initially supposed to air its 33rd season on Monday, but Paramount Network has not aired a single episode since June 1.
Cops has faced much criticism and scrutiny over the years for the way it depicts suspects and glorifies police tactics. Activists and opinion writers have called for other shows like Cops to be pulled from air because the genre itself normalized questionable police tactics, stigmatized African Americans and portrayed police officers as heroes.
Arisha Michelle Hatch, vice president and chief of campaigns at Color of Change, stated that Crime TV advances the distortion of “representations of crime, justice, race & gender within culture.”
Additionally, A&E pulled last week’s episodes of “Live PD,” and “Body Cam,” a similar show on Discovery’s ID channel, is also off the air for the foreseeable future.