Here is the link to the Announcement on Color of Change, that All My Babies; Mamas is cancelled
And there is a black President. Again. See, the world can change.
I grew up in the era of Blackxploitation films. My dad was a camera man on Shaft and worked with Melvin Van Peebles a lot so I guess it was in my blood. There is a fond and funky nostalgia for those films now- whether Tarantino or Black Eyed Peas – and everybody who considers themselves hip is not offended by any of the stereotypes. If you look at any of the writing of the day, you will see a lot of questioning and anger though. That was, and now I am showing my age, a different time. There were hardly ANY images previously in mainstream media of strong black people so, in my opinion, if it went over board on the macho side I understand. I wonder, if in 25 years we will look back on this new show on Oxygen- All My Babies’ Mamas as cool. Obviously somebody finds it cool now. A summary from Color of Change.org:
“Atlanta-based rapper Shawty Lo has 11 children by ten women, a girlfriend the same age as his oldest daughters, and — if Oxygen Media executives have their way — a provocative new reality show that they hope women of color will flock to this spring. According to Oxygen’s parent company NBC Universal, the show — tentatively titled All My Babies’ Mamas — will chronicle Shawty Lo’s attempts to “split his affection multiple ways while trying to create order” in navigating the “dysfunction” of his “drama-filled,” “unique ‘modern’ family.”1 Leaked online footage from the pilot showing Shawty Lo struggling to name his children — and one mother rebranding each woman with nicknames like “Fighter Baby Mama,” “Shady Baby Mama,” “Baby Mama from Hell” and “Wanna-Be-Bougie Baby Mama” — drew immediate criticism from Black people across the country.2 Despite the backlash, network executives remain intent on moving forward with the reality project.”
So, it’s not cool. It’s sooooo not cool. The paradigm that Color of Change wants to change is primarily white controlled networks making money off degrading content featuring folks. Go to their website and read. Sign up for their petition too if you want. What I want to know is: Is this entertaining? Shaft and Cleopatra Jones were horrible, long held American stereotypes brought to life on the screen. If you don’t think so read Toms, Coons, Mammies and Bucks by Donald Bogle to see how they fit into a long and degenerate line of black screen offenses. But they were cool. And they were entertaining. I want to know what is entertaining about a black man with 11 children by 10 women. I really do, because I am in the business of providing media entertainment and specifically entertainment that involves people of color. So, if you know why people might watch this show- black people, white people, Philippinos, latin’s, educated, uneducated, rural or urban please email me privately or post it here if you are brave. I really want to know. And just so you know, I signed the petition.