Trevor Noah devoted a segment of his Daily Show Thursday to address the portrayals of law enforcement officers on TV police procedurals.
“Believe it or not, watching cop shows makes a lot of people see the police as infallible,” Noah said. “And honestly, I don’t blame any of these people. I’ll admit a lot of my perceptions about reality have been shaped by TV, as well.”
“Part of the reason it’s easy for TV shows to convince people that cops are always right and always good at their condition is because that’s what we want to believe,” he added.
The “Copaganda” segment included a video compilation of clips of TV investigators from current and past shows including Bones‘ Booth and Brennan, Chicago P.D.‘s Voight, Hawaii Five-0‘s Grover and Reigns, Law & Order: SVU‘s Benson and Stabler, Lucifer‘s Chloe and NYPD Blue‘s Sipowicz, using excessive force during questioning of suspects.
“Every cop show makes it seem like the reason cops have to beat suspects is because without the beatdown, they won’t tell the truth, and so those beatings protect the rest of society from these lying criminals,” Noah said. “But in real life, beating a suspect is a great way to get them to confess to something they didn’t do, which means you’ve locked up an innocent person — and you’ve let the real criminal walk free.”
Noah concluded the segment by airing a real-life clip of police brutality, saying “when rogue cops throw away the rule book…it doesn’t look cool like in one of the TV shows.” He also issued a plea: “To all those show creators, directors and writers in Hollywood who make these cop shows and have been tweeting that something needs to be done about the police, well, one way you can help make a difference is if you do something about the police on screen.”
You can watch the entire segment above.