Looks like someone did some reevaluating.
On Tuesday, Paramount Network announced it would no longer produce Cops, a half-hour reality series that takes camera crews on police ride-alongs and investigations.
The news comes after the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police on May 25. Former officer Derek Chauvin, who has since been charged with second-degree murder, kneeled on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd repeatedly said he could not breathe. Floyd was 46.
Cops, which first premiered on Fox in 1989, ran for a total of 31 years before its cancelation, making it one of the longest standing reality programs in history. Amid national protests against police brutality and systemic racism, Paramount Network pulled the program from its schedule last week as A&E took similar steps with Live P.D.
“Cops is not on the Paramount Network and we don’t have any current or future plans for it to return,” a spokesperson said, per The Hollywood Reporter. Cops had been part of the Paramount Network since 2013.
It ain’t “Defund the Police” but I’ll take “Cops is cancelled” as an appetizer.
— Isaac Fitzgerald🤞🏻🖤 (@IsaacFitzgerald) June 9, 2020
Sources familiar with the matter told The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline that the network had pre-existing plans to move away from unscripted programming. However, Cops had been scheduled to debut the first episode of Season 33 on Monday. Reality shows Ink Master, Bar Rescue, Battle of the Fittest Couples, and more remain with Paramount.
Cops has been repeatedly criticized for wrongfully glorifying police work, as well as been accused of targeting poor people of color, abusing the individuals being arrested, staging crime scenes, and supplying camera crew members with weapons to use in case of a violent arrest. Footage from Cops has been admitted in multiple defense cases to argue around matters of police misconduct. In 2014, Cops audio technician Bryce Dion and suspect Cortez Washington were shot and killed by officers during the filming of a robbery at an Omaha Wendy’s.