It’s seems that Oxygen, the cable network with a reputation for airing “racy” reality shows, has really sunk deep. Oxygen’s latest show, “Shawty Lo: All My Babies’ Mamas,” still in production, mind you, is causing one heck of a stir. Apparently, this show stars rapper Carlos “Shawty Lo” Walker, his 11 children and 10 unwed mothers.
There is a campaign on Change.org where at the time of this writing there were more than 21,885 people petitioning that “All My Babies’ Mamas” be pulled from the cable network’s lineup.
Best-selling author, Sabrina Lamb, who is also one of Black Noir’s “Top 50 Black Women in Entertainment,” thinks the network has gone too far. She launched a campaign on Change.org asking Oxygen to cancel the show.
Lamb may be getting her wish. In an article
Oxygen execs describe the cast as an “extreme ‘blended family’ that is anything but ordinary,” and hope the “audience can tweet and gossip” about the show.
Lamb says, however, “As dysfunctional and violent as so-called reality shows are, could you ever imagine a one-hour spectacle where 11 children are forced to witness their 10 unwed mothers clamor for financial support, emotional attention and sexual reward from Shawty Lo, the apathetic ‘father’? Could you imagine that Oxygen Media, known for violent programming targeting young women with stereotypical images, would consider the embarrassment that these children will experience, being used as entertainment?”
Other media voices have joined in the protest. For instance, Mo’Kelly of Mo’Kelly Reports on KFI AM 640 radio says, “Oxygen’s efforts to produce, promote and profit from ‘Shawty Lo: All My Babies’ Mamas’ (the ongoing dysfunction of an African American rapper and the 10 different mothers of his 11 children) are indefensible all day, every day. This show simply cannot happen, and shame on us if we allow even one episode to be broadcast. I could spend all day intelligently explaining how the exploitation of these children is unacceptable, or highlight the troubling irony that none of the executives, producers or writers involved with ‘All My Babies’ Mamas’ is African American.”
“All My Babies’ Mamas” is produced by Liz Gateley and Tony DiSanto (DiGa Vision), the former MTV executives-turned-producers also brought us “The Hills,” “Paris Hilton’s My New BFF,” and “Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County.”
Dr. Boyce Watkins of Huffington Post Black Voices writes: “In case you’ve never heard the phrase ‘ghetto polygamy,’ consider this to be your formal introduction to the wretchedness that some have come to define as ‘Black culture.’ Oxygen has decided to give a platform to ignorance by creating a show featuring the rapper Shawty Lo, his 10 babies’ mamas and the 11 unfortunate children who have the pleasure of being born in the middle of a pile of irresponsible bullsh*t.
“If you think I’m being harsh on Mr. Lo, the fact remains that I could never be as hard on this brother as he is being on his kids, many of whom are going to grow up wondering if their daddy actually loves them.”
I contacted Oxygen for an official response to the growing concern surrounding the airing of “All My Babies’ Mamas.” This is what I got in an email:
“Oxygen’s one-hour special in development is not meant to be a stereotypical representation of everyday life for any one demographic or cross section of society. It is a look at one unique family and their complicated, intertwined life. Oxygen Media’s diverse team of creative executives will continue developing the show with this point of view.”
We’ll keep you updated on “Shawty Lo: All My Babies’ Mamas.”
Read more from:
Julia Bricklin, a contributor at www.forbes.com
Dr. Boyce Watkins, www.Huffingtonpost.com.
Gail can be reached at email@example.com.