'Cops' Revival One Year After Cancellation Labeled 'Repugnant' By Activists

The revival of the controversial TV show Cops on Fox Nation has been labeled "repugnant" by an activist group. Fox Nation has defended the show as an honest portrayal of the working lives of the police.

The long-running reality series was canceled in 2020 by Paramount Network during the wave of Black Lives Matter protests that swept the U.S. and many other countries following the killing of George Floyd by police officer Derek Chauvin.

The show was heavily criticized for glorifying police brutality, along with Live PD, which was also canceled.

However, Cops has now been given a new life on Fox Nation, a Fox News Media-backed subscription-based streaming platform.

"COPS is one of the most iconic brands on television with an incredibly passionate fan base," Jason Klarman, president of Fox Nation, said in a statement this week.

The move has been met with anger from activist group Color of Change, who has been campaigning to get the show canceled since 2013.

Jade Magnus Ogunnaike, Senior Director of Media, Culture, and Economic Justice at Color Of Change told Newsweek that Cops is an "insidious program."

"Color Of Change's members fought for eight years to have the television show Cops canceled for a reason: It is an insidious program that distorts the truth about crime in our country and purposefully encourages the public to support the harmful behavior of police, prosecutors, and other law enforcement figures," Ogunnaike said.

"Cops and shows like it should not be televised—on any network," she added.

Ogunnaike said that Fox Nation's decision to revive the series is "repugnant," adding: "The outlet is elevating Cops as vigilantes fighting a non-existent crime wave, while Black people continue to be harmed and murdered by police violence."

The group confirmed that they will continue to "advocate for honest portrayals of our criminal justice system on TV and more accurate, honest and expansive depictions of Black people and the systemic issues that impact our lives."

When asked for comment, a Fox Nation spokesperson directed Newsweek to Klarman's response to criticism of the Cops revival in an interview with the Los Angeles Times this week.

"It's on a subscription service," Klarman told the newspaper. "It's not over the free airwaves. If you don't like the show, don't subscribe. Cops shows cops working, and it's an unvarnished look at that."

Klarman also explained that the show's move to a streaming subscription service "isn't making it available to everyone but it will be there for the people who desire it the most."

He added: "I can't speak to a larger cultural movement that was happening at the time [of its cancellation]. I think the content stands on its own. It's a very compelling show for people who are interested in following the lives of police officers."

After Cops was canceled in 2020, Texas banned reality TV crews from riding with police in a newly enacted law named for Javier Ambler, who died in police custody while a crew from the similarly formatted Live PD was present.

cops cancelled
'Cops' was canceled by Paramount Network in 2020. Paramount Network