All Rise is all canceled

Long ago, The Rolling Stones' song "Sympathy for the Devil" contained these lyrics: "Every cop is a criminal and all the sinners saints..."

That one line perfectly summarizes the overriding theme of the CBS ultra-woke show All Rise, which the network recently canceled.  The show follows the career of Lola Carmichael, a newly appointed African-American judge in Los Angeles with a decidedly woke social-justice-warrior approach to her job.  The show checked all the politically correct boxes: an African-American judge and law clerk, an Asian court clerk and district attorney supervisor, Latino attorneys and court staff, and a lesbian administrative judge.

The show's portrayal of law enforcement, particularly white officers, is troubling.  Beginning with the premiere episode, white police officers were consistently portrayed as violent, ignorant racists who insult and assault professionals "of color" both on and off the job.  In that episode, a deranged white court officer pulls his gun and shoots at a judge on the bench.  His shot narrowly misses the judge, and the shooter is then shot by the African-American officer in that courtroom.  The audience gets the not too subtle point.

I guess the one-trick pony of woke television drama is wearing thin.  Every cop isn't a criminal.  All the sinners definitely aren't saints.  CBS got that message via the Nielsen ratings.  All Rise was one of CBS's lowest-rated scripted series in its first season, but CBS renewed it for a second year anyway.  The season one finale received only a 0.62 rating in the 18–49 demographic and 5.43 million viewers.  Last month's series finale episode received a dismal 0.50 rating in the 18–49 demographic and only 3.70 million viewers.

Throughout the series, progressive Judge Carmichael takes on the press, biased court system administrators, and other judges.  She takes part in Black Lives Matter protests and, in one episode, steps in front of (you guessed it) another racist cop just as he's about to shoot a black teenage girl.  This incident provides the judge with a chance to get on her soapbox and indirectly preach to the audience through her subsequent conversations with the show's other characters.

I suspect that the demise of this show in light of its abysmal ratings signals that audiences of all identity groups are having an awakening.  Could it be that "diversity" and an emphasis on our differences have become too divisive and counterproductive?  Wouldn't shows emphasizing our common humanity be healthier for our communities and young people coming of age?  Of course, they would.  However, the leftist ideology of the decision-makers in Hollywood won't let that happen.  Advancing a "progressive" agenda is sometimes even more important to them than turning a profit.

Social justice warrior shows such as All Rise perpetuate the perception that unarmed black people are being killed by the thousands in unjustified police shootings.  They are not.  Not even close.  A recent survey by Skeptic Research Center found that liberals (44 percent) estimated roughly between 1,000 and 10,000 unarmed black men were killed by police in 2019.  The actual number?  27!

But both the entertainment and mainstream news media actively work to hide this statistic from their audiences.  I suspect that it is because it will undermine their slanted narrative that there is a wholesale slaughter of unarmed black people at the hands of law enforcement.  They need to be called out by people of all races and ethnicities.  We are being played by these propagandists masquerading as journalists and artistic truth-tellers.  It needs to end for the sake of our society, which is being ripped apart by the result of their lies and distortions.

Michael Bertolone, M.S. is a freelance writer, retired deputy sheriff, and past executive vice president of the Monroe County (N.Y.) Law Enforcement Association.  His work can be found at American Thinker and Substack.

Image: All Rise promotional poster.

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