MediaJustice

For Immediate Release: September 26, 2022

Contact: Christina DiPasquale, 202.716.1953, [email protected]

VIDEO & ACTION AT MGM: Amazon Ring Nation Debut Countered by MediaJustice in Video Exposing Harms of Ring Doorbell Surveillance

Today, as Amazon-owned MGM Studios premieres Ring Nation–a new series making light of the real harm caused by Amazon’s Ring camera surveillance and more than 2,000 police partnerships–MediaJustice releases a video, “Ring the Alarm,” exposing the truth of how the Ring doorbell profits off the exploitation of Black and brown communities. 

Watch and embed the “Ring the Alarm” video here.

As MediaJustice’s counter-video debuts, the organization, alongside allied organizations, dropped a banner reading “MGM: Cancel Ring Nation” at the MGM National Harbor in Maryland today at noon. MediaJustice, Fight for the Future, the Athena Coalition, and For Us Not Amazon, sent the “MGM: Cancel Ring Nation” petition signed by 60,000 people to Mark Burnett, Chairman of MGM Worldwide Television Group, and Barry Poznick, President of MGM Unscripted Television and Orion Television. 

View photos from the banner drop here.

Said Tina Brown, former Amazon worker and sister of Poushawn Brown whose life came to a sudden end due to Amazon’s negligence:

“Amazon has caused so much harm in our communities across the country and to families like mine—we lost my sister, Poushawn Brown, because of Amazon’s terrible COVID-19 practices. Amazon is a dangerous corporation. They do not care about people, and they especially do not care about their employees. All they care about is the bottom line, and the data and metrics they need to gain more money and more power. People’s bodies and lives have been routinely destroyed by Amazon. It’s insulting and disturbing that now they’ll have a TV show putting a happy face on all that pain.” 

Said Myaisha Hayes, campaigns strategies director at MediaJustice

“MediaJustice and our partners in opposing the digital “Stop and Frisk ” perpetuated by Amazon’s Ring product and more than a thousand police partnerships for Ring footage, will not stand for a series that mocks and markets the policing of Black and Brown people. In releasing our own video, we are revealing the sad truth of how the Ring doorbell subjects us to racial profiling and powers police violence against Black lives. Today with our video and our action at MGM’s building, we are calling for the cancellation of the “Ring Nation” series and continue our call for Amazon to end their racist surveillance technology that continues to harm and exploit us.”

Said Dr. Maha Hilal and Kris Garrity, coordinators of For Us Not Amazon:

“There’s nothing funny about surveillance. We refuse to accept the normalization of corporate carceral technologies that continue to track, maim, kill and displace our communities. This show presents surveillance as benign and comical, but this show will not capture the harms of surveillance and will instead whitewash them. As an organizer working to challenge Amazon, we categorically reject this. Shame on Amazon and MGM Studios.” 

Last week, joined by 40 civil rights organizations, MediaJustice sent a letter to MGM executives to cancel Ring Nation. It reads, in part:

“A recent investigation revealed Ring has been sharing “private” user footage with cops—without a warrant or user permission. Ring isn’t just giving police departments access to surveillance data: it provides them with backdoor access to a mass surveillance network that operates independent of the Fourth Amendment and any oversight. In the wake of the reversal of Roe, footage from a Ring camera could be used to prosecute an abortion patient who goes out of state for healthcare—either by filming the clinic, capturing them leaving an Airbnb, or proving that they weren’t home for a few days.”

For years, MediaJustice–a national grassroots leader for racial justice in media–has provided original analysis on Amazon’s arming of thousands of police departments with their Ring data that allows police to request, share, and keep front-door footage for as long as they choose. 

For interviews or more information, please contact Christina DiPasquale at 202.716.1953 or [email protected]

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MediaJustice is dedicated to building a grassroots movement for a more just and participatory media—fighting for racial, economic, and gender justice in a digital age. MediaJustice boldly advances communication rights, access, and power for communities harmed by persistent dehumanization, discrimination and disadvantage. Home of the #MediaJusticeNetwork, comprised of more than 70 grassroots partners, we envision a future where everyone is connected, represented, and free.

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