It’s true. BET will officially change the name of their newest reality show Hot Ghetto Mess to the program’s motto: We Got to Do Better.
I’m not sure how much of a difference it will make given that the content is still going to be the same, detrimental to the image of Black people everywhere, ghetto or not.
According to TV media critic Eric Deggan’s blog, “…as controversy over the reality show Hot Ghetto Mess exploded, BET executives tried to play it cool, saying the show was a Bill Cosby-style dose of constructive criticism while limiting the public’s access to the actual show to see for themselves. But today the cable channel blinked in its struggle with the Austin lawyer who has insisted the show will simply spread stereotypes, officially changing the name of Hot Ghetto Mess to the program’s motto: We Got to Do Better...”
"We’ve decided to change the name because we want to highlight the show’s real intent, which is to offer social commentary in a context that sparks dialogue, debate, and most importantly, change," BET said in a statement.
According to the Associated Press, a blog and audio podcast, whataboutourdaughters.blogspot.com, which focuses on how black women are depicted in popular culture, has been a vocal critic of "Hot Ghetto Mess." In a posting Monday, it said the change avoids further promotion of an "abominable and disgusting" Web site.
Gina McCauley, who created the blog, said she’s willing to give the show a chance.
"If they can pull off what they say they’re trying to pull off, then I think it has value. So I’m willing to wait and see what it (the show) is," said McCauley, an attorney in Austin, Texas.
But she said online: "We remain ready to respond in the event this ends up being the train wreck I think it is."
See her blog announcement here.
No word on whether the channel will also change the logo, which features a stereotypical-looking blackface character behind a red circle with a line across his face.
I spoke with a friend who is the marketing director for one of HBOs shows about this show and he said that BET had better do it. I asked him what he meant by that and he said that if BET wants to survive it had better cater to its audience and what better show to do that with than A Hot Ghetto Mess.
If that’s true it speaks volumes about us, and I suspect that it is. If you ask me, it’s kind of scary.
And so if We’ve Got to Do Better, how is this show supposed to help us accomplish that? After we finish laughing at each other so hard that it hurts, are we then supposed to be inspired to do better for ourselves? All this show is going to do is further put out there that Blacks are ignorant. And it’s not going to matter if you’re one of the upper class bourgeoisie Blacks because when it’s all said and done, we’ll all be lumped into one dumb as category. Don’t think other races aren’t going to tune in just to get a good laugh at us. I wonder who will laughing harder us or them.
It’s like, we don’t want white gay men to dress up in drag and blackface and mock African-American women, but it’s okay for us to do it on national television…go figure.