Winston Peters has blasted the axing of Police Ten 7 and called “cancel culture” the “social cancer on our country.”
Earlier this week, former Detective Inspector Graham Bell, who narrated Police Ten 7 for 12 years, said he was sad but not surprised the show had been axed by TVNZ and political figures should be doing more to help identify and solve causes of crime, rather than criticising a television show.
“Wokeness and political correctness have just killed it in the end,” said Bell. “You can’t hide from reality.”
Bell said the “allegation” that Māori and Pasifika communities were a focus was “nonsense”.
“All it focused on was the people who were committing crimes or getting into trouble with the police from day to day. The police have never picked the colour of the people they deal with.”
Many people had argued the show emphasised negative cultural stereotypes and marginalised specific communities.
In March 2021, then-Auckland councillor Efeso Collins and Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon said the show over-represented the Māori and Pasifika communities.
Following Bell’s comments, former Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters took to Facebook to say the show was cancelled this week because “woke cancel culture has now overtaken any sense of reality”.
He said Bell’s take on the show’s demise was right.
“The complaints from the criminal thug apologists is that there were ‘too many Māori and Pacific’ being shown on camera being arrested - and the media swallowed their ideological rage.
“Most level-headed Kiwis, including frontline police and people like Graham Bell, know that it’s only those sociological loonies who think that way - and would rather believe their feel-good lies than accept the harsher truth like the rest of us do.”
TVNZ announced in February Ten 7 Aotearoa, formerly known as Police Ten 7, would be axed after 20 years and 750 episodes.
The show would end with three one-hour finale specials.