After the premier of Love and Hip Hop Atlanta the reviews were mixed. Most people were utterly disgusted by Mona Scott’s portrayal of the African American and Latino community. The show premiered to an ex- stripper dating a man that’s been in an on again off again 15 year relationship.
Love and Hip Hop Atlanta shows the degradation of women as objects by men and all the negative stereo types of minority women. The women in the first episode of the series seem broken in some way. K. Michelle coming from an abusive relationship, where her ex boyfriend robbed her advance money to spend on jewels and trips. Later her alleged abuser released a statement via Instagram solidifying the emotional abuse allegations by saying “I made you.” Then you have Joseline the ex stripper who is in the studio with short shorts on dancing suggestively for her producer “daddy” Stevie J. After her introduction to the world Joseline Hernandez released photographs of her hamburger helper roast beef v jay jay to prove to the world that she was in fact all woman.
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Joseline who pretends to have a heart of steel mentions she’s been on her own since the tender age of 12. She had to survive on her own causing her to become a stripper and doing whatever it took to take care of herself. At the age of twelve some of us were playing with Cabbage Patch Dolls in the confines of our parents home, so to hear her speak about it as if it’s nothing wears thin on my heart. After the end of episode 1 there is a future episode scene where her “Daddy” Stevie J threatens to send her back to the strip club in an attempt to put her in her place. In tears Joseline cries telling Stevie that she is never going back to the strip club. You can look into her eyes and see the sheer terror in her face. Shame on you Mona Scott.
Then you have Scrappy who has a lovely woman and a beautiful little daughter. A daughter that so cute who wouldn’t want to have a family that mimics the Huxtables from ‘The Cosby Show’, instead Scrappy isn’t satisfied with the amount of attention the mother of his child is giving him. He speaks with his mother during the taping and tells her he would rather have the love of many women than to sit around with no love from one woman. Sad situation since that one woman gave you a kid and yet you still trample on her spirit. Scrappy and Stevie J embodies the negative stereotypes of the African American man. They are the macho men that could care less about their family and more about keeping their status as a player.
I sat back and popped my popcorn to watch the show and was saddened at the portrayal of my people. Since when have we been the class clowns to be mocked on national television. At one point there were positive representations of the black community on television. Television shows gave us something to aspire to when we grew up years ago. We all wanted to attend college because Denise and Dwayne went to Morehouse and Spellman in a ‘Different World’. We wanted to have the perfect family gathering after watching Rudy lipsync to “Baby” so eloquently. We all knew we were going to be successful business women after watching ‘Living Single’. All of the women on the show had prominent careers with Maxine Shaw being a lawyer, and Kadija James being Editor n Chief of Flavor Magazine. Those are the portrayals of the African American community we would love to see. A woman that went to college and worked hard to become a pillar in the black community. At first when the petition was texted to me I replied, who cares I am watching this trainwreck but then I realized that this show could have a negative impact on how blacks are viewed I decided to promote the Change.Org petition
After we made a ruckus about Basketball Wives, sponsors began to pull ads. Well, it’s that time again, folks.
While we should respect the perceptions and experiences of the men and women featured on “reality” television shows, networks are airing stories that could be very helpful for people to hear, but they are telling these stories in EXTREMELY dangerous ways.
Folks need education, not further exploitation. And VH1 could “edutain” viewers in a way that would allow them to retain advertising dollars–but they must think outside the box. Everyone can win.
Until then, turn this stuff off and tell VH1/Viacom why you won’t be watching or supporting their advertisers (a few are listed below).
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Address: 1515 Broadway, New York, New York 10036, U.S.A. | Telephone: (212) 258-6000 | Fax: (212) 258-6464
Contact Form: www.neutrogena.com/ancillary/contactus.do
Aveeno (Johnson & Johnson) 1-877-298-2525
Contact Form: www.aveeno.com/contactus
Listerine Whitening (Johnson & Johnson) 1-888-222-0182
To read more or sign, visit Change.org.