Buckling under the pressure from thousands of viewers who were offended at the mere thought of such a show, Oxygen might be scrapping plans to air “All My Babies’ Mamas.”
The reality special featured rapper Shawty Lo and his life as the father of 11 children and babydaddy of 10 women. Understandably, the thought of a network shining a spotlight on something so stereotypical and derogatory resulted in a strong response from Black TV viewers.
Although the network hasn’t confirmed it yet, it’s now expected that “My Babies’ Mamas” won’t see the light of day. Oxygen execs haven’t been promoting the series as they have other upcoming programs and blamed the leaked trailer on a hacker, according to the Associated Press.
It remains to be seen whether the one-hour special will actually air, but considering that nearly 40,000 people signed an online petition asking for the show’s cancellation, it’s difficult to reason why Oxygen would opt to broadcast it.
Notably, it’s not just minorities who were upset by the show’s premise and purpose. The Parents Television Council (PTC) also questioned the series’ entertainment value, calling it “grotesquely irresponsible and exploitative.”
“If Oxygen moves forward with the program, we will be contacting every corporate sponsor that buys advertising time on Oxygen network to hold them accountable as well,” PTC president Tim Winter told the Associated Press.
Initially Oxygen defended the show reasoning that it wasn’t about airing the Black community’s proverbial dirty laundry. “It was not meant to be a stereotypical representation of everyday life for any one demographic or cross section of society,” Oxygen statement.
For Sabrina Lamb, who started the online petition on Change.org, the boycott of the series isn’t just about negative stereotypes, but also about protecting the children who would be featured on the show.
“You can’t exploit these innocent children and then tell your viewers to tweet and gossip about them,” Sabrina told Sister 2 Sister, comparing the would-be program to watching children sold at a slave auction.
See tweets from relieved Twitter users below.
Sabrina Lamb discusses her outrage below. Watch.
—Tracy L. Scott