“Cops” creator/executive producer John Langley’s take on the situation:
“Cops” is designed as a realistic view of police officers’ everyday duties, Langley said. From his perspective, City Council members distorted the show’s purpose in a blatant effort at appealing to certain voters.
“It seems like it got politicized, like it was an agenda on someone’s part on City Council,” Langley said. “I found it ignorant, misinformed or both.
“It’s a documentary, for God’s sake. It’s not some perverse reality TV game show where things are distorted or manipulated. It’s pretty straightforward and simple.”
With Cincinnati police undergoing dozens of reforms in a multi-year process sparked by a U.S. Justice Department agreement and a racial profiling lawsuit settlement, City Council has often talked about making its operations more transparent to citizens.
That’s why Langley is puzzled by the cancellation.
“It smacks of hypocrisy to say you want to have an open police department, then say you don’t want to be taped,” he said. “I think (Council is) trying to appeal to some constituency and make it racial, when it’s not.
“I just thought (the footage) would be interesting, raw and a good piece of cinema verite.”
—The Cincinnati Post
I hope the silent majority on the Council will follow through and show some backbone here.
Despite a few members’ vocal criticism, the majority sentiment on City Council is to allow the taping. Some members who spoke privately said Mayor Charlie Luken told the chief to call it off, and they hope to persuade “Cops” to return.
“I don’t think we should be bullied so quickly,” one member said.
Luken couldn’t be reached for comment Friday night.
Council Member Sam Malone said Friday he will introduce a measure next week to his colleagues seeking to again roll out the welcome mat to the show.
“This is a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Police Department positively,” Malone said in a statement, “and we need to take advantage of this opportunity so the nation can see that Cincinnati is a world class city.”
Malone said Langley assured him the opportunity is still there for Cincinnati officers to be on the show.
“The door is wide open,” Malone said Langley wrote him in an e-mail. “We would be delighted to film with the Cincinnati Police Department.”
—The Cincinnati Post
A poll at WLWT is running 83%-17% with those opposed to scrapping “Cops” on the winning side.