Trevor Noah took on the cancellation of the police docuseries Cops on Wednesday’s The Daily Social Distancing Show. He noted that since the killing of George Floyd, activists and protesters have been rallying around slogans such as “defund the police” and “abolish police,” and while it hasn’t happened yet in communities, it is happening on TV.
“I can’t believe that Cops lasted this long,” Noah declared. “I mean, this was always such a weird show. Who comes home from a long day at work, and is like, ‘I want to unwind’ you know? Let me watch some rogue, shirtless guys get their lives destroyed,'” he added.
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Noah, whose Comedy Central show is part of the same ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth brand, made clear that he thinks the cancellation by Paramount Network was a good decision. “I think this is a move in the right direction,” he said, “because people take for granted how our perceptions of police are shaped by the shows we watch on TV. When we hear about police brutality a lot of people are like, ‘Well that can’t be right, I grew up watching shows like Miami Vice and Starsky & Hutch, Hawaii Five-O and all the cops, they never did anything wrong.'”
Noah also addressed the removal of Gone with the Wind from the HBO Max streaming service. “This is a big move from HBO,” he said. “They know that millions of people love Gone With the Wind, and they also know that the movie is problematic, because it makes it seem like some slaves were having a pretty good time. And we know that’s not true.”
He continued, “If slaves were having a good time, then they wouldn’t have needed to be slaves.”
“Maybe HBO should make people take a quiz about American history before they watch Gone with the Wind,” he posited.
HBO said the film would eventually return to the streaming service, along with a discussion of its historical context and a denouncement of its racist depictions. Noah decided to help out HBO with some suggested updates of his own. (You can watch above starting at the 4-minute mark.)
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