Disney: It’s Time to Pull the Plug on A&E

A&E, the network formerly known as Arts & Entertainment, chalked up a 49% loss in viewership this quarter.

The loss in viewership, attributed to A&E’s cancellation of its police show, Live PD, exposed a suppurating inoperable tumor in the network’s gut: a penchant for bigotry, violence and sensationalism. That penchant spawned an ultimately fatal addiction to shows featuring crime on the one hand, while whitewashing discrimination and hatred of minority religions on the other.

A hand holding a plug
Photo by Guido Marsman/Shutterstock.com

A&E’s malignancy was self-inflicted. The network, once a respected outlet for culture, fine arts and thoughtful programming—in other words, actual Arts and Entertainment—tired of its small but cultured, intelligent audience and, hoping to attract a wider viewership, dumped its quality lineup in favor of brazen rubbish.

What the world needs now is love, not A&E.

As A&E’s malignancy metastasized, advertisers, not wishing to be besmirched, fled the network, along with their pocketbooks, losing A&E nearly $300 million.

A&E is beyond curing at this point. It has long since pawned its soul for a few truckloads of silver. It won’t reform. And the thing it most treasures—above truth, above art, above the intellectual and aesthetic nourishment of its viewership: sponsorship money—is gone and is not coming back. What we’re witnessing now is a network wriggling like a wounded snake, continuing to spew venom in its final writhings.

It’s time for Disney, A&E’s too-indulgent parent company, to put A&E down like Old Yeller, a once-good dog gone mad. It’s the humane thing to do at this point before the network does even more damage to the American public.

What the world needs now is love, not A&E.

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