Oxygen’s new show “All My Babies’ Mamas” is stirring up controversy

Carlos "Shawty Lo" Walker and familyThe Oxygen Network was created in 1998 in part by Oprah Winfrey in the hopes to “empower” women.  Since NBC Universal purchased the network in 2007 for $925 million any hopes of emanating that message is long gone.  The network recently announced its spring 2013 lineup.  Amongst them includes a new “reality” show that chronicles the “outrageous” lives of a “modern family.”  The show centers on a black man who has 11 children with 10 different women.  His current girlfriend is 19; a year shy of being the same age as his oldest child. 

Carlos “Shawty Lo” Walker (I have no clue who this person is), an Atlanta-based hip-hop artist, has his family signed on to tape the “reality” show.  In December, Oxygen released the following description of the show:

“As the household grows, sometimes so does the dysfunction, leaving the man of the house to split his affection multiple ways while trying to create order.  Will there be a conflict over a family holiday, who needs school supplies and who holds the household finance purse strings, or can these feisty babies’ mamas band together and live peacefully as one family unit?”

Sabrina Lamb is leading an online petition to prevent the show from even airing.  She says: “By pushing these degrading images, your company seeks to profit from the humiliation of girls and women and the blatant stereotyping of African-Americans.  The focus of our outrage is that they would dare exploit the pain of these children and that Oxygen would promote this toxic situation to its young, impressionable female audience.  There’s no way this can go forward. We’re going all the way to the end with this.”

Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page thinks the show’s premise is similar to slavery.  Huffington Post contributor and Syracuse University professor Dr. Boyce Watkins calls the show a “platform for ignorance.”

Oxygen President Jason Klarman has responded to the criticism with the following email response:

“The show is still in early development and the footage leaked was not representative of the final special, which is still being cast and developed.  While we are seeking to chronicle a true story, it is not meant to be a stereotypical representation of everyday life for any one demographic or cross-section of society…That said, we are highly attuned and sensitive to your concerns and our diverse team of creative executives will continue their involvement as the special is developed.”

I understand the criticism surrounding the show.  People are outraged because the show does nothing to quell stereotypes of the black community.  Here is my only problem though.  Families like the one showed on this show do actually exist.  You can find white men fathering many children as well.  The family is the one who signed up for the show.  That’s why I disagree with the “slavery” comment.  They aren’t forced to appear on this show.  I don’t think the network is trying to stereotype any racial group.  I think they saw the massive success of TLC’s “Honey Boo Boo” and are now trying to create an even more “outrageous reality show.”  It’s all about the ratings.

I think show likes this as well as “Honey Boo Boo” and “Jersey Shore” are pretty dumb.  I am not the target audience of these shows though.  These shows target, as the Oxygen Network executives stated, a primarily female audience.  They want to get women to not only watch these crazy shows, but gossip about them with their friends.  Many people like watching “mindless” television.  So I don’t really have a problem with this show airing.  If you don’t approve of it, don’t watch it.

What do you think?

Should the show never be aired?

Email: realtalkdebate2012@gmail.com

Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate


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About adrakontaidis

A conservative who doesn't pander to the GOP.

3 responses to “Oxygen’s new show “All My Babies’ Mamas” is stirring up controversy”

  1. Kamil Zawadzki says :

    I agree with you… While this show is clearly stupid as hell, not only are there actually ‘families’ like this that do exist but it kind of does make a recipe for another family-centered reality TV series. I mean you’ve got (baby mama) drama just handed to you on a silver platter. And people do want to watch these crazier and dumber shows for various reasons – guilty pleasure or even just as a form of schadenfreude (“I may be messed up but at least I’m not as bad as [insert reality TV show castmate]”).

    And yeah the “slavery” comment goes a bit far. The network execs cannot force anyone into signing a contract, nor can the “baby daddy” here – well, I guess he could but there is no evidence to suggest he coerced anyone so it’s a moot point.

    I predict some success for this Honey Boo Boo-style. But I note that while “Jersey Shore” has endured in its popularity for the most part over the past few years, I hardly hear anyone even talk about Honey Boo Boo anymore.
    So that fame and success is fleeting.
    Considering how mindless the premise and content is likely to be, even though I have my own guilty pleasures as well, I will neither watch it nor do I hope for a second season.

    Then again, if you got it and the networks want what you’re selling, can’t really begrudge them for going for it, I guess. Everyone has a price, even if the trade-off is their dignity.

    • realtalkrealdebate says :

      Unfortunately, I still hear about Honey Boo Boo lol

      I agree with you. They aren’t doing anything illegal. The family decided to do the show. If there is a market for this then I can’t oppose the show airing. I just won’t watch it.

  2. Nancy says :

    The networks are only looking for the cheapest shows to produce. Dumbing of America!

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