Rolling Stone writer says Olivia Benson of 'Law & Order' should be 'canceled too'

Rolling Stone is raising eyebrows with a piece that argues that Capt. Olivia Benson, the iconic cop character from TV's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," should also be "canceled."

Following the cancellations of "Cops" and "Live PD," the magazine published a piece with the headline, "Sorry, Olivia Benson Is Canceled Too," referring to the NYPD detective who has long been played by actress Mariska Hargitay.

"For 21 seasons, Olivia Benson has served as the quintessential Good Cop, the embodiment of all of the qualities we wish law enforcement figures would have: she’s tough but fair, vulnerable yet steely-eyed, displaying constant compassion for survivors and providing no quarter to abusers. She always fights for and believes victims, a marked contrast to real-life law enforcement officials, whose record on convicting sexual offenders is abysmal," writer EJ Dickson acknowledged, later praising Hargitay for her real-life activism helping victims of domestic violence.

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Mariska Hargitay as Olivia Benson on "Law & Order: SVU." (NBC)

Mariska Hargitay as Olivia Benson on "Law & Order: SVU." (NBC)

Dickson, however, later argued, "But Olivia Benson won’t change, not fundamentally, because nobody wants Olivia Benson to change. We’re probably not going to see her making an effort to hire more police officers of color. We’re probably not going to see George Floyd incorporated into plotlines in anything but a cursory, ripped-from-the-headlines way."

The Rolling Stone reporter then suggested that the desire to see Olivia Benson as nothing but a "hero" is itself a problem and that in order for the system to change, everything needs a reset, including the beloved TV character.

"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," Dickson explained. "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."

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She continued, "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."

Washington Examiner reporter Jerry Dunleavy declared the anti-Olivia Benson piece "really, really, really stupid."

The Blaze's Jessica Fletcher similarly called it "garbage."

There has been a major cultural shift ever since George Floyd was killed, and much of it is aimed at what has been described by the "defund the police" movement as "copaganda."

The criticism of "copaganda" is that television shows and movies paint police in a positive light rather than a realistic depiction of law enforcement.

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"Cops" and "Live PD" weren't the only targets. The popular Nickelodeon children's cartoon "Paw Patrol" was not spared of criticism since its lead pup, Chase, is a police dog.

A Washington Post piece recently pleaded to Hollywood that it stop all production of police-inspired TV shows and films.