Cancel Culture Comes For Law And Order, Along With Star Character Olivia Benson

See, even though the character is a “good cop”, all cops are bad in the eyes of these nutters. Remember when Rolling Stone used to be counter-culture and about music?

Sorry, Olivia Benson Is Canceled Too

Cancel Culture AlligatorA few days ago, I was scrolling through TikTok and saw one featuring Olivia Benson, the beloved star of Law and Order: SVU played by Mariska Hargitay. The TikTok is captioned “#when I say ACAB,” and the audio is from Fergie’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” “I hope you know, I hope you know/That this has nothing to do with you,” the woman in the TikTok lip-syncs, as if pained to even be mentioning Olivia Benson and anti-cop sentiment in the same breath.

On social media, where defunding and abolishing the police has become an omnipresent rallying cry, a similar sentiment also reigns. “The only cop I have any respect for is Olivia Benson,” one tweet reads. “nOt AlL cOpS…you’re right, Olivia Benson from SVU would NEVER,” reads another. Even as fictional cops ranging from The Wire‘s Det. Bunk Moreland to Chase from Paw Patrol come under the microscope, Olivia Benson is in another class altogether. She is the minority, the exemption, the special case. She and she alone, it is generally agreed, is allowed to cloak herself in the mantle of Good Cop.

(lots of paragraphs about how great the character is and how great Hargitay is)

But not everyone who watches Law and Order: SVU interacts with it on those terms. A not-insignificant number of police officers have credited the show with their deciding to enter law enforcement, and it’s safe to assume that an even larger number of viewers watches the show and believe that police officers like Olivia Benson are fundamentally on the side of the vulnerable and disenfranchised. And this trope has significant real-life implications: according to a report from Color of Change (which features a screen grab from SVU) on the cover), crime series “make heroes out of people who violate our rights” and “do not depict the reality, causes, or consequences of [racial disparities in the criminal justice system] accurately.”

See? Even good cops bad

The truth is that, if you agree that the system is broken and great changes need to be made on all levels to fix it, you can’t pick and choose what needs to be changed. No matter how much you love Olivia Benson, you have to be willing to grapple with the fact that she plays a major role in perpetuating the idea that cops are inherently trustworthy and heroic, and that many viewers are unable to distinguish between the gossamer fantasy of how justice should be handled, and how it actually is. If cops are canceled, that means all cops are canceled, up to and including the strong and pretty ones we like to watch break down pedophiles in interrogation rooms. Revolution can’t be built on the backs of the exceptions, and those who perpetuate toxic systems can’t be deemed immune to critique just because we like them. It’s the simplest equation there is: if all cops are bastards, and Olivia Benson is a cop, that means she’s — kind of — a bastard. (Mariska is cool, though.)

Nothing is safe from Cancel Culture.

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9 Responses to “Cancel Culture Comes For Law And Order, Along With Star Character Olivia Benson”

  1. alanstorm says:

    Sounds exactly like Liberal Logic to me.

  2. Elwood P. Dowd says:

    Simple. Don’t go along with the demands. Fight back! Support sponsors who advertise on the show and publicize your actions!

    Watch Law and Order: SVU and let the network know you do.

    Should we have any limits on what children can watch over the public airwaves?

  3. sigmadog says:

    In other news: There are people who still watch Law and Order.

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