I was planning to email you today to tell you about the next step in our campaign to convince FOX to drop the television program COPS. We were going to unveil ads to be placed in The Hollywood Reporter and AdWeek calling on advertisers to pull their support of the program.
But before I could, AdWeek and The Hollywood Reporter rejected our ads.
Trade publications like AdWeek and The Hollywood Reporter are delivered weekly to Hollywood executives and potential advertisers and we need to get this into as many other publications as we can before FOX executives meet in May to announce which shows get renewed for next season. Will you join us?
Nothing in our ad was lewd or profane, it simply told the truth about how media have profited from the dehumanization and over-incarceration of Black people. The rejection of our ad by two notable media outlets makes it clear how powerful the corporate forces we’re up against are.
Research has shown that programs like COPS create warped perceptions of Black folks and communities of color1 and the criminal justice system.2 This relic should have never made it to air — let alone survived for 25 years.
The truth is that for 25 years COPS has glorified the failed “War on Drugs” by taking viewers on a ride-along with officers as they patrol and harass people in low income neighborhoods across the country. COPS has turned the criminalization of Black folks and other communities of color into entertainment for millions — all while lining the pockets of Fox with advertising dollars.
This rejection shows us how much harder we have to work to get FOX to drop COPS. We are committed to spreading our ads far and wide — until the only thing that gets rejected is COPS.
Thanks and Peace,
April 25th, 2013
P.S. We need to turn up the heat ahead of the network upfronts next month, which is when the networks and advertisers will be making a lot of their big decisions. Please click here to contribute $3 and help us get these ads out to let them know how toxic COPS is for our community.
1. “Opportunity for Black Men and Boys: Public Opinion, Media Depictions, and Media Consumption” (.pdf), The Opportunity Agenda, 10-01-11
2. “How television influences social institutions: the case of policing and criminal