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How ‘Cops’ shaped public opinion about police and people of color


COPS reality TV show has been cancelled.

Courtesy Paramount Network

When a writers’ strike paralyzed the television industry in the late 1980s, networks were forced to find new, alternative programs to fill its air. 

That’s how “Cops” found a home on Fox Television. The low budget program, which had no union writers, was a welcome solution — and it ran for 32 seasons. That is until earlier this week. 

Now owned by ViacomCBS, “Cops” was canceled in the wake of of protests against police brutality and the death of George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer.

The show has long been criticized for its depiction of police interactions with criminal suspects, but high ratings kept…


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