After 25 Seasons of Perpetuating Racist Stereotypes, Fox Cancels "Cops"

After 25 seasons of celebrating petty policing and perpetuating racist stereotypes, Fox dropped the law enforcement “reality” show “Cops,” the network announced Monday. The testosterone-laden Spike TV network rushed to pick up the program.


Black advocacy group ColorOfChange.org supported the cancellation, having recently launched a campaign urging Fox to drop the show and companies to pull advertisements  aired during the program. “It's thanks to ColorOfChange members that “Cops” will no longer air on network TV in primetime,” wrote ColorOfChange executive director Rashad Robinson in a statement. Fox has not publically stated whether ColorOfChange's campaign was a deciding factor.

Just days before Fox’s announcement, the group argued that shows like Cops perpetuate negative perceptions of African Americans and glamorizes controversial police tactics:

With such a narrow range of Black characters and personalities in primetime, the negative perceptions and distorted images presented by shows like “Cops” create an atmosphere of suspicion that desensitizes and conditions audiences to view harsher punishments and police misconduct — including police brutality and unconstitutional searches — as acceptable. Research shows that these images linger in the subconscious of viewers, creating "unconscious attitudes” and "implicit biases" about both race and class.

Spike TV president Kevin Kay says he has high hopes for the program on his network. "Cops is a remarkable series that has been able to sustain strong ratings well into its third decade, a monumental achievement in television,” Kay said in a statement. “As we continue to grow and expand our audience, new episodes of Cops, with its loyal audience of adults 18-49, is the perfect addition to our prime-time lineup on Saturday nights."

#story_page_ below_article

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.