The movement to delete elements from society because people either disagree with or are offended, familiarly referred to as “cancel culture” has officially kicked into high gear.
From LEGO to your favorite cartoons and hit TV shows like Cops and Live PD, and classic movies such as Gone With the Wind, it seems nothing is safe.
Here’s a quick look at a few of the more eye-opening staples under fire from cancel culture.
According to Deadline, the popular and long-running TV series Cops has been canceled:
Cops' six-year run on Paramount Network and its predecessor has come to an end. Pulled last week in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, the series will not be coming back.
“Cops is not on the Paramount Network and we don’t have any current or future plans for it to return,” a Paramount Network spokesperson said in a statement to Deadline.
Perhaps more confusingly A&E’s decision to suspend their hit TV series Live PD while they consider whether or not to return it at all.
A&E on June 5 pulled last weekend’s episodes of its hit docuseries Live PD amid continued nationwide protests over Floyd’s death. The network still is evaluating the right time to bring it back, though a return this weekend appears unlikely at the moment.
It’s confusing because Live PD features police doing their work in real time. There is no editing or “copaganda” (pro-police TV propaganda — yes, that’s an actual phrase) resulting in an unfiltered, real look at how police operate. If anything, anti-police protesters would want more of this type of programming because it shines a brighter light on policing and helps people understand what is happening. If police are “hunting” any particular type of person on a day to day basis, we should see this play out on the screen.
LEGO also announced it will be pulling certain playsets from the shelves, including police sets and the White House.
This week, LEGO announced it would stop advertising certain playsets and is asking its retailers to do the same. According to Toy Book, a letter from Rakuten Linkshare on behalf of LEGO stated, “In light of recent events, LEGO has requested the below products to be removed from sites and any marketing ASAP,” listing 31 sets that depicted scenes with police, firefighters, and the White House.
Looney Tunes are also seeing some major changes as Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam will no longer carry guns.
Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam are sporting different looks in the “Looney Tunes Cartoons” that launched on the new streaming service HBO Max.While their outfits remain the same, both will no longer be carrying guns.The cartoons will still have plenty of sticks of Acme dynamite and cartoon violence, but Fudd will no longer carry his oversized hunting rifle and Sam won’t have his pistols.”We’re not doing guns,” executive producer and showrunner Peter Browngardt said in an interview with The New York Times.
Merriam Webster, after receiving a letter from a 22-year-old student, has decided to change the definition of racism:
Alumna Kennedy Mitchum knew there was more to racism than what appeared in @MerriamWebster's dictionary.
“It’s not just disliking someone because of their race,” she said.
Read the dictionary’s full response below. pic.twitter.com/0Yen4TrvuJ
— Drake University (@DrakeUniversity) June 9, 2020
Because of the letter, the definition will now be updated to include “systemic oppression” in addition to the standard definition.
“I basically told them that they need to include that there’s a systematic oppression upon a group of people. It’s not just, ‘Oh, I don’t like someone.”
After sending an email expressing her concerns, Ms Mitchum engaged in a back and forth conversation with Merriam-Webster, before being informed that the entry would be revised.
The classic movie Gone With the Wind was removed from HBO Max:
HBO Max removed "Gone With the Wind" from its platform amid growing concerns about racial injustice in the wake of the killing of George Floyd (corrects typo) https://t.co/vqnzHV3Ro1
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) June 10, 2020
According to the New York Times, any TV depiction of police as goofy, lovable or in any way positive has been described as “copaganda” and activists will seek to have it canceled, edited out, deleted, or otherwise censored and removed.
That includes Paw Patrol. From the Times, responding to several tweets semi-mockingly calling for it to end:
It’s a joke, but it’s also not. As the protests against racist police violence enter their third week, the charges are mounting against fictional cops, too. Even big-hearted cartoon police dogs — or maybe especially big-hearted cartoon police dogs — are on notice.
They went on to explain “copaganda”:
Cops are not just television stars; they are television’s biggest stars. Crime shows are TV’s most popular genre, now making up more than 60 percent of prime-time programming on the big four broadcast networks. The tropes of the genre are so predictable that a whole workplace sitcom, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” is layered atop them. “A police station was a shortcut,” Dan Goor, the show’s co-creator, has said, “because people are very aware of how police television works. You know instantly who the good guys are and who the bad guys are.”
That shortcut now feels like a cheat: After images of a very special episode where Terry Crews is racially profiled were passed around as evidence of responsible police TV, others marked the show as “copaganda.”
Even on television, the good guys are not always so good. In a recent report, the racial justice organization Color of Change assessed depictions of the police across television and found that modern cop shows “make heroes out of people who violate our rights.” Many of them, it argued, show the good guys committing more violations than the bad guys, making police misbehavior feel “relatable, forgivable, acceptable and ultimately good.”
It’s a troubling time in our society when anything and anyone can be “canceled” at any moment. There is no room for grace, no room for mercy, no room for any kind of solidarity whatsoever. It’s agree or be canceled.
Be praying for our country as it navigates this highly divisive time!