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Abolition: For Your Consideration

pop justice takes on the 2022 74th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards

pop justice is Scalawag's newsletter exploring the intersection of popular culture and justice—namely through abolition. Sign up here.

Scalawag launched pop justice to reckon with the way copaganda distorts our understanding of our criminal-legal system and ultimately stalls abolition. The slate of television shows up for nomination at the 2022 74th Primetime Emmy Awards are no exception. In this special edition of pop justice, we've invited writers to call out potentially award-winning copaganda of the last year—and to highlight abolitionist storylines lurking in our favorite shows.

Watch this space during and after TV's biggest night of the year for even more reviews and critiques of the nominees.

pop justice isn't about policing the media you consume (even you, true-crime bingers). Instead, we see pop culture as a relatable and—even enjoyable—entry point to tough and necessary conversations about abolishing the police state. Subscribe today so we can get free (and kiki) together:

more in pop justice:

How Tina Turner's trauma remains a hip-hop trope—and why we need to abolish it

Fully reckoning with Turner's legacy forces us to confront an uncomfortable fact: her trauma has often been mocked in the pop landscape that she helped create.

In their lyrics, rappers and hip-hop artists have long reduced Tina Turner's abuse to a metaphor for violence, aggression, and dominance. Erasing the nuance of her lived experience stalls our collective understanding of domestic violence and abolition.

Night Court: New(ish) Sitcom, Same Copaganda

A criminal-legal reporter ventures into Night Court—the cringy sitcom reboot and the real courtroom in Manhattan.

Unlike the NBC show, real life night court "is a place you can go to see that as a society we don't care about poor people. You're in this microcosm of all the institutions that failed our clients."

We're Queer, 'We're Here,' and We're Fighting Back

HBO's Drag Race spinoff 'We're Here' finally waded into politics targeting LGBTQ+ rights, making it the most important season yet, as drag bans pop up in statehouses.

The show's account of Florida's neo-Nazis and proto-fascists are sickening—and not in the fabulous drag way.

Everything (Queer) Everywhere All At Once

Although the film focuses on queerness and alternative universes, the awards season darling still props up the nuclear family and agents of the state—even as the constructs fail the Wangs.

Despite its villainization in Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert's box-office hit, queerness thwarts the story's central themes of limitations under capitalism and xenophobia.