Paramount cancels COPS, HBO Max pulls GONE WITH THE WIND, Netflix censors Chris Lilley

Under the pressure of social justice activists, several shows, movies and individuals are under attack for their perceived insensitive content. After 33 years, Paramount ends the popular show Cops, Gone with the Wind was removed by HBO Max from the streaming service and Netflix and the BBC were in lockstep over the decision to remove episodes of Little Britain from their libraries after the British comedy featured blackface sketches.

COPS

Cops will not be back on Paramount.

“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.

The long-running Cops premiered on Fox in 1989 and aired for 25 seasons. The show was resurrected in 2013 when Spike TV ordered new episodes. Spike TV rebranded as Paramount Network in 2018, with the docuseries carried over to the new network.

Cops, whose 33rd season was slated to premiere yesterday, has been off the air since June 1 when it was pulled with no plans to run any additional episodes. Paramount Network has been moving away from all unscripted programming.

A&E on June 5 pulled last weekend’s episodes of its hit docuseries Live PD amid continued nationwide protests over George Floyd’s death.

Cops logo

GONE WITH THE WIND

Less than two weeks after launch, HBO Max has removed Gone With the Wind from its streaming service for being “a product of its time and depicts some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that have, unfortunately, been commonplace in American society.”

From an HBO Max spokesperson:

Gone With the Wind is a product of its time and depicts some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that have, unfortunately, been commonplace in American society. These racist depictions were wrong then and are wrong today, and we felt that to keep this title up without an explanation and a denouncement of those depictions would be irresponsible. These depictions are certainly counter to WarnerMedia’s values, so when we return the film to HBO Max, it will return with a discussion of its historical context and a denouncement of those very depictions, but will be presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. If we are to create a more just, equitable and inclusive future, we must first acknowledge and understand our history.

Academy Award winning writer-director John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) called for the film’s removal from HBO Max, saying “It doesn’t just ‘fall short’ with regard to representation. It is a film that glorifies the antebellum south. It is a film that, when it is not ignoring the horrors of slavery, pauses only to perpetuate some of the most painful stereotypes of people of color.”

CHRIS LILLEY SHOWS CENSORED

Netflix has removed four shows from the Australian comedian Chris Lilley from its services in Australia and New Zealand.

Angry BoysSummer Heights HighWe Can Be Heroes, and Jonah From Tonga have all been taken down after featuring characters that have sparked questions over racial discrimination. The shows were originally made by Australian producer Princess Pictures for the ABC.

Angry Boys features blackface character S.mouse, while Summer Heights High and Jonah From Tonga include Jonah Takalua, for which Lilley wore brown makeup. In We Can Be Heroes, Lilley plays Chinese physics student Ricky Wong.

Lilley’s other series, Ja’mie Private School Girl and Netflix original Lunatics, will remain on the service.

Netflix has also removed British comedy The League Of Gentlemen from its library after it featured the blackface character Papa Lazarou. The League Of Gentlemen remains on iPlayer.

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