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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

It Appears that another battle has started in our war against minstrelsy-VH1 Boycott!

I first heard about this story while listening to the Ed Lover radio program, broadcast locally throughout the NY Tri-state area. Lover took this boycott to be a case of sour grapes (on the part of a potential show creator) as the VH1 network refused to entertain the idea of a interracial dating program to counter the negative imagery that the channel currently promulgates-i.e. The Flavor of Love, Charm School and I Love New York. To be honest, I’m not sure about a show entitled Interracial Love since it appears to be proposed to primarily entice the public’s prurient interests as opposed to initiating an honest dialogue about inter-ethnic or interracial liaisons. I support mono-racial and interracial relationships-just that they be portrayed in a matter of fact fashion. But I must give my blessings to any endeavor that attempts to combat the singular ghettocentric perception that VH1 presently promotes as it relates to people of color. Check out the boycott initiative story, courtesy of Eurweb.com:

BOYCOTT LAUNCHED AGAINST VH1: Network targeted for its negative portrayal of black women.
(September 4, 2007)

*A boycott has been launched against music channel VH1 to protest network executives who actively and purposely perpetuate negative stereotypes of black women through its reality programming.

An employee of the network leaked information about a production meeting regarding a potential new show titled “Interracial Love.” According to the employee, network execs passed on the idea because it would feature professional black women who choose to look beyond race to find true love. The images would be in direct contrast to those shown on such shows as “Flavor of Love” and its spawns “I Love New York” and “Flavor of Love: Charm School.”

In a letter written to Black Press Radio, the employee shared what she was told went down behind closed doors in a meeting about the show. According to the employee, the exec said: “It is our thoughts that the viewers are more interested in seeing black people in a ghetto role. This show will not sell.”

Black Press Radio (www.blackpressradio.com) followed up on the story and reported on an Aug. 14 statement sent to Black Press Magazine by Maura Wozniak, the Senior Publicist for VH1 Communications. In the statement, Wozniak confirms that “Interracial Love” was rejected after it was determined it just wasn't a good fit for the network.

"VH1 receives hundreds of unsolicited ideas for shows a week and has dozens of original programs in development," said Wozniak. "As is often the case, we immediately passed on this pitch because it does not make sense for the network at this time. But we are always open to ideas that fit in with our music and pop culture focus."

Black Media News fired off a letter to EUR voicing full support of a boycott against VH1. The organization wrote:

To whom it may concern,

There is a boycott that has taken a life of its own against the VH1 Network. We here at Black Media News have been watching the support around this boycott. VH1 had made racist comments about black women and why they only cast shows that stereotype black women as ghetto. The story was leaked on the Tom Joyner morning show and was also reported on Black Press Radio. The following comments were made by an employee of VH1. We feel these statements are worse than Don Imus due to the fact that they are not talking about just 12 black women they are talking about an entire race of black women. VH1 shows their views in their shows of black women. They have been type casting with black women only in ghetto roles. This is a very racist view and we ask for the continued support of this boycott. There are links below of the story black press radio did on this boycott and an editorial

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