Please remain calm. I have some terrible news for you. Are you seated? Ok. Oxygen announced today that they have decided to cancel the show that was destined to win an Emmy, All My Babies’ Mamas. Midwest Mo told us about this show way back on January 2nd in his Around the Web post for the day which was ahead of all the controversy that broke out about this show. Coincidence? I think not.
If you were unfamiliar with this show, the premise was that they would follow Atlanta based rapper Shawty Lo who has 11 kids with 10 different women. You read that right. 11 kids. 10 different women. Apparently the controversy arose when civil rights groups complained that the show was racist and portrayed racist stereo types. Well duh. What amazes me is that The Oxygen Network were the ones that were going to put this show on the air.
The Oxygen Network was founded in part by Oprah (who I’m told is black) but you might not know, or remember, that Comcast bought Oxygen from NBC Universal/GE in 2011 so Oprah herself can’t be blamed for this show. Still though. I don’t think it really takes a genius to figure out that this show might be just a teeny tiny bit racist. I’d love to know which executive at Oxygen listened to the pitch for All My Babies’ Mamas and said “yes, green light this project immediately! It can’t miss! I see no down side to this project in any way whatsoever!”
Here is part of what Oxygen actually said in a statement they released today: “We will continue to develop compelling content that resonates with our young female viewers and drives the cultural conversation.” Two things. First. Does Oxygen think that the female viewers of Oxygen are morons (while it sounds like a rhetorical question because I do feel this way about Oxygen viewers, I’d really like to know if Oxygen feels the same way I do about their viewers)? This show resonates with their young female viewers? Really? Is that what their demographic research shows? That their viewers want to watch shows about women who have so little self-esteem that they are willing to be another notch in the belt of a one-hit wonder rapper who all seem to be unaware of birth control advances in the 21st century? Really? And does Oxygen really think they are driving the cultural conversation? Come on. That is laughable. It’s not like they are refusing to move to the back of the bus with this show about a guy with an NBA level of baby mamas. Trying to make that claim now is ridiculous.
In a world where shows like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Buckwild exist on TV (not to mention 2 Broke Girls), we can claim at least one small cultural victory with the cancellation of All My Babies’ Mamas. It’s a tiny victory but it shows that there can be some hope for us after all.