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Iconic female ‘Law & Order’ character next on list of tv cops that have to be purged now

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A writer for Left-leaning magazine Rolling Stone says it’s time to cancel iconic character Capt. Olivia Benson of the long-running “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” series as liberals push for defunding and eliminating police departments around the country following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis.

The call for canceling the character and program come after shows like “Cops” and “Live PD,” a pair of reality series with the former dating back to the 1980s, have also been canceled by their respective media groups.

Under the headline, “Sorry, Olivia Benson is Canceled Too” — a reference to the NYPD character played by actress Mariska Hargitay — writer EJ Dickson noted, “For 21 seasons, Olivia Benson has served as the quintessential Good Cop, the embodiment of all of the qualities we wish law enforcement figures would have: she’s tough but fair, vulnerable yet steely-eyed, displaying constant compassion for survivors and providing no quarter to abusers.

“She always fights for and believes victims, a marked contrast to real-life law enforcement officials, whose record on convicting sexual offenders is abysmal,” she wrote while going on to praise Hargitay for her real-life efforts to help victims of domestic violence.

That said, Dickson noted further, “But Olivia Benson won’t change, not fundamentally, because nobody wants Olivia Benson to change. We’re probably not going to see her making an effort to hire more police officers of color. We’re probably not going to see George Floyd incorporated into plotlines in anything but a cursory, ripped-from-the-headlines way.”

It’s not clear that hiring more “police officers of color” would affect police-related killings in any substantial way, or that more minorities even want to become police officers, and no evidence has surfaced suggesting that minorities are currently being prevented from joining police departments. 

In fact, in 1981, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand a lower appeals court decision requiring New York City to ensure “that at least one-third of new police officers hired…be black or of Hispanic origin,” The New York Times reported, in order to bring the NYPD into compliance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Nevertheless, Dickson continued, “No matter how fraught the role of law enforcement officials become in the cultural imagination, no matter how embedded she is in a system that perpetuates racism and misogyny and brutality, nobody wants to see Olivia Benson as anything but a hero. We need to believe the system is not totally broken. We need to believe that cops are not totally irredeemable.

“No matter how much you love Olivia Benson, you have to be willing to grapple with the fact that she plays a major role in perpetuating the idea that cops are inherently trustworthy and heroic, and that many viewers are unable to distinguish between the gossamer fantasy of how justice should be handled, and how it actually is. If cops are canceled, that means all cops are canceled, up to and including the strong and pretty ones we like to watch break down pedophiles in interrogation rooms,” she wrote.

The piece was widely panned by other writers and users on social media.

“This is really, really, really stupid,” wrote Washington Examiner correspondent Jerry Dunleavy.

He sarcastically added that it must also be true that police officers who died trying to save people during the 9/11 attacks “are canceled too.”

The Blaze’s Jessica Fletcher called the piece “garbage.”

Fox News added:

“Cops” and “Live PD” weren’t the only targets. The popular Nickelodeon children’s cartoon “Paw Patrol” was not spared of criticism since its lead pup, Chase, is a police dog.

A Washington Post piece recently pleaded to Hollywood that it stop all production of police-inspired TV shows and films.

For its part, Cops — which first aired on FOX in March 1989, ran for 32 seasons and is considered in many ways to be the first genuine ‘reality TV’ program. The 33rd season was set for launch on June 8, but it was shelved by Paramount Network.

Shortly thereafter, the A&E Network decided to cancel its new Live PD episodes.

Jon Dougherty

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