Jan 3, 2013

Are you frickin' kidding me?  Those were the first words I uttered this morning while perusing my facebook timeline.  I saw a post from The Grio about a petition against Oxygen's latest reality show venture, All My Babies' Mamas.  The show is about rapper, Shawty Lo, and his 11 children with 10 women.  I am glad that the article was about the petition because my very next question was "Where do I sign?" My learning about this petition comes on the heels of watching the premiere of TLC's, The Sisterhood, about wives of pastors and preachers.  I watched the show with much skepticism only to participate in a Twitter chat.  Because I am a glass-full type of woman, I was somewhat hopeful yet skeptical and sure enough I had reason to be.  The show was a hot mess. 

I do not know about you but I have had my fill of reality tv shows.  Quite frankly, the insight the show gives into people's lives makes me like them less and much less inclined to support their pursuits.  Rewarding bad behavior...I am just not down with that.  As my niece said as she was learning to talk, I can't like that.  Probably the only shows that I can tolerate are Tia and Tamera and Six Little McGhees.  Sure alot of the good gets edited out.  But trust me, if the good outweighed the bad, there would not be enough bad to fill an entire episode.  The producers and casting directors are specifically looking for those that have the most drama and dysfunction.  I do not know why as a culture we like watching a trainwreck, but apparently we do.  This has to stop. 

Networks are making huge profits because reality television is much cheaper than producing an actual show with actors.  Financially it makes sense, but I am at the point where we have to push for networks to be better corporate citizens.  I do not need to go into detail about the imagery as it relates to the African American community.  We all know about that.  To me we can attack this issue on two fronts.  One, demand social responsibility from the networks and two, instill in ourselves values that do not leave us so desperate for fortune and fame.   How is this generation supposed to handle ethical dilemmas?  How is this generation supposed to aspire to make a lasting positive impact in this world?  Even the professional women on these shows have to degrade themselves, literally in some cases, showing their behinds.  No one is perfect.  We all have some level drama going on.  Yes even flawed people can be successful in their endeavors.  But I posit to you that there is a difference between having flaws and just appealing to a person's "dark" side.

One thing I am thankful for is the cable channels that steadily air reruns of good television.  Otherwise I would have nothing to watch.  If there is a lesson that I have learned between 2008 and 2012 is that the voice of our community is very powerful.  It can bring about change.  Sounds like it is time we let the powers that be in the entertainment world know that we have had enough.
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