Law in Popular Culture

'Bad Judge' TV show is canceled after lawyer group protests

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NBC has decided to cancel the TV show Bad Judge after it garnered unimpressive ratings and a letter of protest from the Miami-Dade chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.

The show, which first aired Oct. 6, depicted a party-loving but tough judge whose car sported a bumper sticker reading, “If you are rich, I am single.” NBC announced cancellation of the series last Friday, Entertainment Weekly and the Daily Business Review report. NBC plans to finish production on 13 episodes that will air before the show is yanked from the schedule.

The Miami-Dade chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers had complained in an Oct. 16 letter (PDF) that the show portrayed the judge as “unethical, lazy, crude, hypersexualized and unfit to hold such an esteemed position of power.”

The group provided several examples of the unethical depiction, including the judge having sex with an expert witness in her chambers just minutes after he testified in her courtroom, and the judge commenting on a male lawyer’s tight pants.

“A misogynist who believes that women in power cannot control their sexuality, their bodies and their professional or personal conduct would have their views endorsed by this show,” the letter read.

Deborah Baker, president of the Miami FAWL chapter, said her group is “really happy” about the show’s cancellation, even though she thinks poor ratings had more to do with it than their letter. “this is one small victory, and I hope people will watch television through a different set of eyes. People need to be aware of issues like this where women are depicted as personally and professionally irresponsible.”

See a promo for Bad Judge below:

Updated Nov. 6 to add quote from Deborah Baker.

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