Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Oxygen Axes Minstrel Show "All My Babies' Mamas'"

The Oxygen Network is apparently having second thoughts about airing a new reality series highlighting the worst of black urban culture and showing the worst examples of black men. The show would have highlighted the life of a rapper who has children with 10 different young women - unmarried of course. The program was essentially a modern day minstrel show. After online protests, Oxygen appears to be pulling the plug on this horror .

From The Grio:
Recently there have been conflicting reports that the Oxygen network would be pulling Shawty Lo’s controversial reality special All My Babies’ Mamas from their network lineup before the show even hit the air.

Oxygen has now officially decided to cancel the special.

“As part of our development process, we have reviewed casting and decided not to move forward with the special,” an Oxygen spokesperson said in a statement to theGrio. “We will continue to develop compelling content that resonates with our young female viewers and drives the cultural conversation.”

The program was initially slated for release this spring as a one hour reality special on Oxygen TV. The show would follow Shawty Lo and his 11 children by ten different mothers. According to Oxygen, “Shawty Lo and his family were considered for the show, but other families were being considered as well.”

Teasers for All My Babies’ Mamas first came out in December 2012. The description in the show’s press release read, “As the household grows, sometimes so does the dysfunction, leaving the man of the house to split his affection multiple ways while trying to create order. Will there be a conflict over a family holiday, who needs school supplies and who holds the household finance purse strings, or can these feisty babies’ mamas band together and live peacefully as one family unit?”

The special immediately received intense scrutiny from media watchdog groups, saying it would portray a negative image of the African-American family and glorify the stigma of “the baby mama.”

Earlier this month, The Parents Television Council asked the network to not let the program air, calling it “grotesquely irresponsible and exploitative.” Their involvement came on the heels of Sabrina Lamb, a New York writer who started a petition cancel the show, which already has more than 37,000 supporters on

“By pushing these degrading images, your company seeks to profit from the humiliation of girls and women and the blatant stereotyping of African-Americans,” Lamb wrote in the petition.

But who in the Hell thought that this was a good idea in the first place? Someone took it seriously, considering tens of thousands were invested and ultimately wasted on the show’s production. At one time I would have immediately suspected BET as the prime suspect behind a series like this. But now it seems BET has franchised this stupidity to other networks. VH1, MTV, Oxygen, Bravo…and even TLC (and others) have now gotten into the game of perpetuating stereotypes & destroying the image of black folks with low rent programs.

While I blame these networks for spreading these negative stereotypes & making my life harder for profit, I blame those in the so-called “black community” even more for living up to these images & for participating when big business wants to make a mockery of an entire ethnic group. I have grown to hate what modern black culture has become. I hate almost everything about it. Not that there are no positives…. It’s just that the positives are very few. While the black heritage (black historical narrative and contribution) in this country is still rich… the culture of today is dead and empty.

Surprisingly, this program was so grotesque that even majority white organizations jumped into the fray this time and helped to take the lead on fighting this. usually (as was typically the case with the earlier fights with BET & Debra Lee) you don't see predominantly white groups taking the lead on issues primarily concerning the so-called "black community". I didn't really hear much from Civil Rights Inc, the Rev's, the NAACP or the Congressional Black Circus Caucus. They may have been involved in some ancillary role... but I didn't really see them in the mix.

This is an example of why I think being a black guy sucks. This is the reason why - according to societies rules- dating a black guy (particularly in the context of dating out…or dating interracially) is almost always seen as “dating down”, no matter how hard you work or what kind of character you have. It is why decent dating options are few and far between.

But I would really like to know who the women are who sleep with these men. What is going on in their minds when they do this? What made 10 women think that having a child with this clown was a good idea & that it was ok for the world to know about it? I know this is more of a class issue than a race issue… however, I see this more of this with black women. Now they always claim they are really not into the badboy… the thug or criminal. But examples keep mounting up that pretty much shows that this isn’t the case. I think women who make this argument lost that battle a long time ago. I think we have moved to the question of ‘why‘…. not whether it’s happening. (although to this day… when I ask young women of color about this… they don’t want to acknowledge that the problem even exists). I call this the “Beyonce-Rihanna Syndrome”. It’s an example of how pop culture icons have shaped a generation of women (15-35) and have passed on the message that certain negative behaviors are ok, what they should accept from men, and have provided the blueprint for what the ideal mate should be. As we can see… the results of this are wreaking havoc on an entire demographic. Somehow black women (some…not all… but we are talking about what seems to be 2/3rds - 3/5ths) have become pre-disposed to this. It’s as if this crap is in their DNA. How does this get reversed when there are TV programs that reinforce the images and lifestyle - particularly the thug, clown, criminal images of black men - as something that is cool? Remember, this is a network that caters to women.

1 comment:

rikyrah said...

whoever gave the green light to this show needs to lose their job.