The Hollywood Reporter picked up on comments from Trevor Noah this week in which he addressed the way in which film and television productions portray police officers, and how these depictions may have a deleterious effect on the way the public views police officers.
On Thursday’s episode, Noah explained that for many people around the country, watching police shows on TV makes them perceive officers as “infallible.” Noah went on to say that much of his own perceptions are shaped by what’s on TV as well.
He shared a number of ways that television programming portrays police officers, especially in relation to how they violently treat their suspects.
The television show host showed a number of clips from popular TV shows, including NCIS: Los Angeles, Law and Order: SVU, as well as Bones. According to The Hollywood Reporter, much of the clips show how the police violently and aggressively investigate their suspects.
Noah goes on to say on his show that there are no other people on television who are portrayed so violently, especially professionals. Moreover, Noah says it makes it seem like police officers have the right to assault and threaten people.
After explaining the power of media, television, and film on the minds of the public, Noah hammered his point home with a clip purporting to show how police brutality looks in real life. Noah went on to urge Hollywood and writers in the industry to consider how they construct their story-lines from now on.
Obviously, this comes right after the death of George Floyd, which sparked Black Lives Matter protests around the Western world.
Since then, there have been calls from the entertainment industry and the political elite to “defund the police,” a policy where the government takes money away from police and puts it into social services.
Moreover, the concept purports to describe specially trained social workers who are taught how to deal with nuanced circumstances such as domestic violence, mental health issues, and drug abuse.
This wouldn’t be the first time that an entertainment industry figure explained how cop shows influence the public. The Law and Order showrunner made similar comments as Noah.