On Tuesday, 40 civil rights groups published an open letter calling on MGM Television executives to cancel the studio’s upcoming reality show Ring Nation, which will feature former NSA employee and comedian Wanda Sykes presenting humorous surveillance footage captured from Ring doorbell cameras.
The groups say that the studio is “normalizing and promoting Amazon Ring’s dangerous network of surveillance cameras” which, along with the Neighbors app, “violate basic privacy rights, fuel surveillance-based policing that disproportionately targets people of color and threatens abortion seekers, and enables vigilantes to surveil their neighbors and racially profile bystanders.”
“Ring Nation is not a comedy but rather a propaganda strategy to normalize and further digitized racial profiling in our communities. Truthfully the cognitive dissonance about the dangers of these tools is a real concern. It’s striking to see a host, who has been such a vocal supporter of racial Justice protesters defend the very tech that was used to surveil activists during the uprisings in 2020,” said Myaisha Hayes, campaign strategy director MediaMyaisha Hayes, Campaign Strategies Director at MediaJustice