📬 Want some Southern goodness in your inbox every Friday?
Get Scalawag's latest stories and a run down of what's happening across the South with our weekly newsletter.
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.
How to do away with copaganda: Three Emmy-nominated shows to watch with an abolitionist lens
"I hope there's someone in the writers' room with an abolitionist mindset. Because I know how the cop closure ending goes. We all do. We've seen it. What else is possible?"
Only Murders in the Building exemplifies the lies in 'true' crime
The Dropout dramatizes Elizabeth Holmes' fraudulent rise. Endless military funding is also a scam.
Yellowjackets shows a world without police as disorderly. Abolitionists aren't buying it.
RuPaul's Drag Race visibilizes queerness—and the police state
The White Lotus is supposed to be satire. Hawaiians deserve the last laugh.
Abbott Elementary and the promise of schools without cops
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
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
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
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
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.