The online civil rights organization ColorOfChange.org is urging FOX, and corporate advertisers of the television show 'Cops,' to make the 25th season of show its last in primetime. The group says since the show premiered in 1989, FOX, 'Cops' producers, and corporate advertisers have built a profit model around distorted and dehumanizing portrayals of black Americans and the criminal justice system.
ColorOfChange sent a petition to its more than 850,000 members urging them to sign on to the campaign.
"Research shows that 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 and desensitizes and conditions audiences to view police misconduct and harsher punishments as acceptable," said Executive Director of ColorOfChange, Rashad Robinson, in a statement.
According to ColorOfChange, content analysis performed in the mid-nineties revealed that "reality" crime programs like 'Cops' tend to over-represent whites as police officers and under-represent Blacks and Latinos as authority figures, while also under-representing whites and over-representing people of color as criminals.
In the email sent to members, ColorOfChange said the "stakes couldn't be higher" considering "the real-world backdrop of an American culture that views young men like Trayvon Martin and Jordan Russell Davis with suspicion."
View the petition from ColorOfChange to the Fox Network and advertisers at ColorOfChange.org.