Sabrina Lamb’s online petition to keep ATL rapper Shawty Lo‘s proposed Oxygen Network program “All My Babies’ Mamas” off the air, appears to have done its job.
According to the Daily Beast’s Allison Samuels, the petition – which so far has accrued nearly 40,000 signatures – and the public’s overall negative response, has pressured the network – although it’s denying it – to announce shortly that production of the program will not go forward.
At first, Oxygen defended the project by offering this: “It was not meant to be a stereotypical representation of everyday life for any one demographic or cross section of society.’’ Unless I’m mistaken, the term “baby mama” is used almost exclusively in reference to black women, so Oxygen needed to do better than that. If the show was about a white man with 11 children and had the same title, we might be able to have a different conversation.
Samuels points out that Lamb’s Change.org petition to stop production of “All My Babies’ Mamas” gathered more than 33,000 signatures in just 10 days. Here, the former stand-up comic, media commentator and author of “A Kettle of Vultures,” provides insight as to what motivated her to start the petition in the first place.
“I love that the people who’ve signed the petition are from all backgrounds, ages, and countries,’’ says Lamb. “This one elderly white man wrote me and said even he was tired of the stereotypical images of black people.’’
“This show is about more than a rapper and his girlfriends,’’ says Lamb. “This is a show about kids who had no choice in how they came into the world. This show sets them up to be ridiculed and made fun of. None of us should be OK with that.’’
Lamb had also threatened to lead a boycott of any sponsors who put their money behind the idea. Luckily, Oxygen apparently saw the light.
Sabrina Lamb wasn’t the only voice to speak out against the show. So did Morris O’Kelly, a/k/a Mo’Kelly, host of “The Mo’Kelly Show” on KFI AM640 in Los Angeles.
“Some fights you must fight … on principle alone. This would be one of them,” Mo’Kelly blogged recently here at EURweb. “This fight is about having standards, knowing when television programming has in fact gone too far or finally found the basement.”
Via email, we asked Mo’Kelly to comment on Samuel’s report that “All My Babies’ Mamas” is set to be cancelled. Here is his response:
“Every now and then we must remind corporate America, our children are not for sale and their exploitation is not fodder for entertainment programming. There are standards which still exist, both for media and for our community.
Be exceptionally clear in this moment, the power is and always has been ours to set a meaningful example for young people, individually and collectively.
Let us now remain vigilant and ever-watchful, making sure that we don’t come this way again. It is not a time to celebrate but instead one to soberly assess how we arrived here. We condone neither the lifestyle of Shawty Lo nor the lacking vision of the Oxygen network. The former opened the door for the latter, and ultimately both must be addressed. Today is one important and very public step towards both.
It is our hope all networks take notice and strive to do better in their creative decision-making and maintain a consistent, healthy dialogue with communities of color moving forward. If not…then we will mobilize again…and again and again.”
Black Reality TV - Now & Then - Part I
1. 1. The hit reality show 'Mary Mary' has been renewed for a second season on WEtv. (PR Photos)1 of 19
2. 2. 'Hollywood Exes' follows the lives of the ex-wives of Eddie Murphy, R. Kelly, Prince, Jose Canseco, and Will Smith. (HB)2 of 19
3. 3. 'Fantasia for Real' on VH1, starring Fantasia and her struggle to regain control of her career and personal life. (PR)3 of 19
4. 4. 'P. Diddy's Starmaker' premiered in August of 2009 and featured aspiring artists competing against one another. (PR)4 of 19
5. 5. 'Basketball Wives' was renewed for a fifth season despite increased calls to boycott the program. (EURweb)5 of 19
6. 6. 'Flavor of Love' also on VH1, starring Flavor Flav was cancelled after three seasons. (PR Photos)6 of 19
7. 7. 'Leave it to Niecy' starring Niecy Nash and her family was cancelled after three episodes earlier this year. (Retna)7 of 19
8. 8. 'Braxton Family Values' premiered in April of 2011 and stars sisters, Trina, Towanda, Toni, Traci and Tamar. (PR Photos)8 of 19
9. 9. '50 Cent: The Money & the Power' hosted by 50 Cent himself premiered in October of 2008. (PR Photos)9 of 19
10. 10. 'Sunday Best' a gospel singing competition premiered in 2007 on BET and is still going strong. (Retna)10 of 19
11. 11. 'Ochocinco: The Ultimate Catch' starring Chad Ochocinco premiered in July of 2010. He just got hitched to Evelyn.(PR)11 of 19
12. 12. 'T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle' premiered in 2011 on VH1 featuring the entire family and the finale aired in March.12 of 19
13. 13. 'The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty' starring Jermaine, Tito, Jackie and Marlon premiered on A&E in December of 2009. (AP)13 of 19
14. 14. 'Brandy & Ray J: A Family Business' was on a couple of seasons. (PR Photos)14 of 19
15. 15. 'Let's Talk about Pep' premiered in 2010 starring Sandy'Pepa' Denton & follows her on the prowl for a new love in her life.15 of 19
16. 16. 'Being Bobby Brown' starring Bobby Brown, his superstar wife Whitney and his extended family premiered on Bravo in 2005.16 of 19
17. 17. 'Keyshawn Johnson: Tackling Design' starring Keyshawn, from football to interior designed premiered on A&E in 2009. (PR)17 of 19
18. 18. 'The Family Crews' starring Terry and his wife Rebecca and their houseful of kids premiered in 2010 on BET. (PR Photos)18 of 19
19. 19. 'All That's Fab' starring Tameka 'Tiny' Cottle and Toya Carter aired on BET. (Photos: PR Photos/Retna)19 of 19
Celebrities Whose Reality Got Too Real
1. Tiny and TISource:Instagram 1 of 17
2. Hank and Kendra BassettSource:PR 2 of 17
3. Keyshia Cole and Daniel 'Boobie' GibsonSource:Instagram 3 of 17
4. Ice T and CocoSource:PR Photos 4 of 17
5. Jennifer WilliamsSource:PR Photos 5 of 17
6. Kelly Price6 of 17
7. Kenya Moore7 of 17
8. Chad Johnson8 of 17
9. Porsha Williams9 of 17
10. Russell Armstrong10 of 17
11. Lamar Odom11 of 17
12. Jon & Kate Goslin12 of 17
13. Anna Nicole Smith13 of 17
14. Kris Humphries14 of 17
15. Bobby Borwn15 of 17
16. Nadya Suleman16 of 17
17. Kanye West17 of 17