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Saturday
Jul142007

Unconfirmed Report- BET Might have Pulled " Hot Ghetto Mess"

I'll believe it when I read about it on the AP, but the site Hip Hop DX is saying the show has been pulled. Y'all know how internet rumors get started, but I am guardedly optimistic.

UPDATE (7/14): Still waiting. Latrice the young lady who has been running a petition since January to get Hot Ghetto Mess pulled indicated that she had also gotten an e-mail.

The cynic in my says that BET is just trying to fake us out to make it past the Television Critics Association panel on Sunday.

UPDATE(7/14): I just read an article that said we get 18000 hits a day. Dear Lord NO! That would be a nightmare! We have had a TOTAL of 18000 hits as of yesterday. I fully expect to go back to normal this time next week.

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Friday
Jul132007

When Did You Give Up On BET? -- Reggie Hudlin is Still Unrepentant (I'm Shocked!)


"There's this presumption that BET has ill intent…. Nothing could be further from the truth." Reginald Hudlin, BET President.
Why on EARTH would we not trust BET to do the right thing? I mean we must have all been making the past 10 to 12 years up in our heads. Why on earth would we think that BET has ill intent when its producers have been running all over the internet encouraging people to go looking for the most embarrassing African Americans that they could find:

I’m a producer for a new comedy television show airing on the BET network, “Hot Ghetto Mess.” The show is all about wild, sensational, and outrageous clips and culture in the black community with an angle on humor. We are currently licensing original footage and I am seeking footage of black lowriders and their vehicles. The more bling and crazy the better. I am also looking for the super ghetto stuff, like a dude with $10,000 spinners on a Yugo, & funny stuff: cars getting thrashed, super ghetto car girls, crashes, mishaps, etc all about black culture…( SOURCE)

Why on EARTH would we not trust you when your own site says you'll be exploring "shaking booties, thug life, baby-mama drama and pimped-out high schoolers. Your own site says "'Hot Ghetto Mess' is like the traffic accident you can’t look away from. Viewers will laugh." Why should we distrust you when you have licensed a clip like this abomination to air on your show?

Yeah, we're being irrational to believe that you have ill intent.

A better question is why on earth MR. Hudlin thinks that BET is worthy of Black America's trust? WE didn't leave BET. BET LEFT US!

I used to love Donnie Simpson( I did. I did ). I even got used to Sherry Carter. I miss Video Soul something awful. BET was our space. The BET Christmas specials were must-see TV. I remember Our Voices ( Bev Smith?) and Teen Summit. Occasionally I used to catch Tavis Smiley and Ed Gordon. DO Y'all remember Cheryl Martin? Ananda? I remember being excited to see the latest African American artist be interviewed , back when you couldn't see these people ANYWHERE. Or if you did see them on a mainstream show, they would get a segment, but on BET, they would get an entire show. I remember the shows where Luther and Whitney (the old version) and Boyz II Men ( the old version) used to stop by and hang out for the WHOLE SHOW. Take a stroll down memory lane courtesy of YouTube.

We were family! Then BET chucked them all and ushered in an era dominated by violent, pro-drug, pro-pimp, pro-crime, anti-woman, anti-education music videos. Now some would say that BET was just following popular culture. I say BET chose sides and decided to drive one vs. the other. Instead of celebrating the very best we had to offer, they placed laser-like focus on the most ridiculous.

BET could have drawn a line in the sand. How many of you remember back in the day when all the music videos had big blurs in them everywhere covering the logos that the artist would wear? MTV and BET would blur out logos, drugs, and guns. At first the blurs were EVERYWHERE. Now you rarely see them because artists have figured out that if they don't want a blur all over their video, then they need to leave that stuff out. BET wasn't powerless as its programming lineup became full of foolishness ( or in the words of BET executives unintelligent).

But the unpardonable sin as far as I am concerned, the final act that made me walk away from BET for all eternity was BET's Uncut. "Uncut" was a cosmic wound. I can still remember the first time I saw Uncut. Only someone who truly HATED and despised Black women would put that on the air ( FOR SIX YEARS) and then DEFEND it repeatedly. ( Looking at YOU! Debbie Lee). Wow, was that "Black Star Power?"

So yes, Mr. Hudlin, we DONT TRUST BET! BET is not worthy of our trust. The fact that you seemed upset that many African Americans wouldn't trust you to do the right thing just demonstrates that the culture of arrogance that brought us "Uncut" still reigns at Black Entertainment Television.

If you truly believe that Hot Ghetto Mess is such a public service and you aren't just launching a publicity stunt to try to lure viewers from VH1's terrible trio, then air Hot Ghetto Mess without commercial interruption as a public service. Then host a public forum after the show airs to allow people to discuss what they just viewed. I DARE YOU! Better yet, relinquish the name BET and rename the network something that doesn't associate it with a particular group of people. We don't want to claim or be claimed by you.

If you want to rebut the presumption of ill intent, make a goodwill gesture FIRST. Stop acting bewildered as to why we MIGHT have a problem with something called Hot Ghetto Mess. You graduated from Harvard, you aren't THAT clueless.

For those of you who gave up on BET long ago, what was the final straw that made you start zooming past BET with your cable remote?

FEATURED ACTIVISM OF THE DAY
We haven't done a Featured Activism of the Day post in a minute. Check out "AIDS is a Global Independence Struggle for Black Women: Gender Matters" from the Black Agenda Report.

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Thursday
Jul122007

HotGhettoMess.Com - Should Child Abuse and Neglect be Couched as a Form of Entertainment?

Mark this down as reason number 1001 for why a reputable corporation should have nothing to do with BET's upcoming show, " Hot Ghetto Mess."

I am convinced that these corporations have no idea that the website that is the basis of the show contains rampant nudity and pictures of very young children in abusive and neglectful conditions. Child abuse and neglect should not be a form of entertainment. I am wondering how BET is explaining this sponsors. I really wish a reporter would ask BET about these very young children. According to the NY Post:

At least one gallery of photos on the site shows toddlers and infants
photographed holding bottles of beer or with cigars in their mouths.

A comment over at Racialicious also noted the toddlers appearing on the site.

Some of the photos on the “Just Sad” page (which focuses on children and youth)
are extremely disturbing and inappropriate, and many depict blatant child abuse
and neglect. One photo (two men posing a clothed female infant in a really disturbing position) could even meet the legal definition of child pornography. I won’t link the page because it is too f**ked up, but click in the “Just Sad” tab in the left sidebar to see for yourself.


Seriously Debra Lee, Reginald Hudson, and Viacom WHY would you bring a site that exploits Black toddlers and in some cases posts photographs displaying these children in a compromising position? Why would you allow one of your advertisers associate their brand directly or indirectly with a site displaying very young African American children and then laugh about it on BET.com saying that your show is "a car crash you can't look away from?"

Will a reporter ask BET this question? Just end this foolishness. Surely even check cashing companies, liquor distributors or psychic hotlines don't want to associate themselves with this foolishness. What companies are going to subsidize this?

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Thursday
Jul122007

My Campaign Against " Hot Ghetto Mess" - In MY OWN WORDS!

Hmm. Well, yesterday was interesting! I guess people know BET is going to try to air “ Hot Ghetto Mess” now.

I am going to go ahead and give my own version of this story because some things are getting lost in translation so I’ll give you a brief firsthand account.


This video of DL Hughley attacking the Rutgers basketball team is what precipitated our campaign against “Hot Ghetto Mess.” Didn’t know about Hughley’s comments on the Tonight Show? Join the club. Hughley made these comments mere days after Don Imus was fired, in a forum, The Tonight Show, whose audiences dwarfs Imus’, but there was absolutely NO reaction from the media outlets who had mere days before been rabid about Imus. There was also NO outcry from a single civil rights group. We did our best to highlight what he said, but for the most part, the usual suspects have ignored Hughley's comments.

To reward Hughley for his attack on these young Black women, BET decided to give him his own show on Black Entertainment Television called “ Socially Offensive Behavior.” THAT is why I was on BET, to try to figure out who was supporting Hughley’s show. I actually stumbled across “Hot Ghetto Mess” I couldn’t believe what I was seeing when I saw that blackface cartoon staring back at me. If you really want to hear how hard seeing the cartoon affected me, go listen to our archived podcast the following day. I was so angry, I had a case of indignation induced insomnia.

Why did you start this site?
I started this site after watching Oprah’s town hall meeting. Diane Weathers was just so frustrated and so was I. I remember her saying that African American women needed to take the lead to combat negative portrayals in popular culture, Hip Hop in particular. I didn’t find any one site or organization whose sole focus was on the portrayal of African American women in popular culture. So I actually started the blog in hopes that someone would see it and contact me so I could just direct people to that site. I wanted to feature people who were fighting negative images of Black women. People kept asking why people hadn’t spoken out about Rap music and its videos. I was like “ WE HAVE! FOR YEARS!”. People just hadn’t been paying attention. That is why we have “ Featured Activism of the Day” posts.


What is your goal?
My ultimate goal is that people who want to see and listen to content that I think degrades African American women are the ones who pay for it. I merely request that large corporations who want me to utilize their products and services don’t turn around and use my money to promote images that I believe harm African American women.

Have you spoken to Jamila?
No, but I did issue her an invitation to appear on our podcast, “The Black Women‘s Round Table.” We’re both lawyers so it would be an interesting conversation.

What do you think about the website Hot Ghetto Mess that is the basis for the BET show?
I get Jamila’s original point. I too am horrified at times at the lifestyle choices people seek to promote. Clearly many of the people who ended up on the site wanted some attention because many of them posed for the original photo. I am sure, however, that many of them were unaware that they would end up being beamed around the world.

I find portions of her site disturbing. I think the photos of small children in compromising positions ( in my opinion) disgusting. I find her depictions of, at the least, child neglect, at the most, child abuse, exploitive. In a word, Jamila lost her way and went from social commentary to exploitation, and she is doing very well apparently.

What do you think about bringing the website to BET?

Even Jamila has admitted that BET just doesn’t get it. I can’t imagine why she would trust them to produce social commentary.


What do you think about BET?
I think BET is Viacom’s “ Hot Ghetto Mess“. I find it ridiculous that Reginald Hudlin is trying to shield Viacom by saying that Viacom takes hundreds of millions of dollars from BET, but does not care where the money came from.

I find it ridiculous that Hudlin is trying to pass this off as “tough love” or BET’s attempt to demonstrate concern for the state of Black America. Who helped push us here? Despite Hudlin’s comments about the public service that “Hot Ghetto Mess” will perform, the BET.com pages promoting the show and soliciting videos say otherwise. The promotional page describes the show as a “ car wreck you can’t look away from.” When did causing car wrecks become a public service? The site soliciting videos for BET’s show doesn’t say it’s a social commentary.

So who did BET lie to? Reporters, asking questions after the controversy emerged or the people who sent them videos and photographs?

In addition, producers for the show who went around soliciting videos on the internet certainly didn’t portray it as a social commentary show. They went looking for the very worst of African American culture so they could beam it to the world, encouraging people to go looking for foolishness.

Why did you call for a boycott?
First, we didn’t even have to get that far with the corporations. When I just said that I wanted to let them know that their ads were appearing on a page with a blackface cartoon, they gasped ( literally). I didn’t even have to get to a request. They moved without any request once they became aware of what was happening.

This just proves my point. People have been railing at BET and the entertainment industry for YEARS, but in less than 8 hours I forced BET to remove ALL of the advertising from the pages promoting Hot Ghetto Mess on BET.com, and as an added bonus, “Socially Offensive Behavior.”

At the end of the day, if you want the entertainment industry to change, stop writing letters to BET and entertainment companies. They don’t care what we think. If you want to change what is on television and radio, call an advertiser. I promise you that the entertainment companies listen to their advertisers. So that is why our motto is “ Stop Funding Foolishness.”

I'll have more to say this evening.

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Wednesday
Jul112007

What Can YOU Do About "Hot Ghetto Mess"??


People have been commenting and e-mailing asking what they can do about Hot Ghetto Mess.

1. Mark July 26, 2007 on your calendar. If you've got some vacation to burn, take the day off.On July 26th, we will know which corporations are so morally bankrupt and obtuse that they would associate themselves with something called “ Hot Ghetto Mess.” BET is being tight lipped about which companies are foolish enough to sponsor this nonsense, but we’ll know on July26th for sure. I know for a fact that State Farm and the Home Depot said "no way."

2.You can call 1-888-CALL-FCC ( 1-888-225-5332) or you can contact the FCC online and tell them that you support something called cable choice. Currently every cable subscriber pays BET a fee whether you watch BET or not. Pull out your telephone book and look up the number for your United States Senators and United States Representative and let them know that you don’t want to subsidize BET’s programming anymore and would like to support a la carte cable. There is currently legislation pending that would allow you to only pay for the cable channels you actually want coming into your home. Right now it is all or nothing. There are some who say cable choice would spell the end of BET and cable programming diversity, but I say that if "Hot Ghetto Mess" is their idea of programming diversity. Good riddance!

3. Read some of our archived posts. We don’t just throw jabs at BET. We’ve targeted Iberia Airlines, DL Hughley, Akon, Russell Simmons, Michael Erick Dyson, the NAACP and other "civil rights" organizations , and our favorite Rev. Al. Some our noteworthy posts include the “First Amendment Hypocrites” parts I,II, III, and IV; “Should Hip Hop Be Eradicated?”; “ The End of Sharpton Watch”; and “ DL Hughley is Wrong”; and “Russell Simmons Says Rappers are like Jesus!” (Yes, he really did!) and " Russell Simmons Throws a Hissy Fit on NPR when Questioned about Misogyny in Music" We also feature grassroots organizations who are fighting in their own communities in combating the War on Black Women. Folks in Chicago and Minnesota and California and all over the world.

4. Keep watching this site. We post everyday and are monitoring the situation. We’ll be the first to let you know just which corporations are funding the War on Black Women. You can also catch us live each Saturday on our call-in talk show. If you have I-tunes, You can subscribe to the pod cast. Its called “ The Black Women’s Round Table” you can type it in the search box on I-tunes. Sometimes the words on this page don't quite relay the exact sentiment, but I think my intentions and feelings translate more accurately on the podcast.

You are not helpless. BET is not invincible. Change Begins with YOU. A single telephone call can make the difference.

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