“Hot Ghetto Mess”, a six-episode series dedicated to the “betterment of the African-American community”, will debut on Bullshit Excuses Television on July 25th. Judging from the show’s title I’d say that it should fit in well with the network’s current programming (it’s even hosted by Chaalie Murphy). This show has probably caused a first in television advertising history (I know someone will correct me if I’m wrong) – companies State Farm Insurance and Home Depot have asked BET to pull their advertising from the series’ time slot…..and they haven’t even seen an episode.
Now I’m kind of on the fence with this whole thing because:
A) They’re pulling ads because of the name alone
B) BET has denied that the show is degrading
C) These two companies will look stupid if the show is a hit and/or serves it’s intended purpose (you know….to be all “uplifting” and stuff)
But on the other hand:
A) BET’s programming has a history of being complete and utter wackery
B) “Hot Ghetto Mess” is not necessarily a title you’d used to attract advertisers
C) BET is already the red-headed stepchild of Viacom…things like this make it look justifiable
Apparently the show consists of home videos sent in by viewers, along with random on-the-street interviews, so it’s pretty obvious that the show will have a comedic tone. But why does that make these two companies nervous? Sure you could bring up the whole Don Imus incident, but this is Black folk makin’ fun of Black folk right? It’s not like the show is airing on NBC on Thursday night after “My Name is Earl”. As far as degrading black women goes – these same companies aren’t all nervous about the slutatiouness being displayed on Rap City/106 & Park videos……yep…..State Farm will slap a couple of Dennis Haysbert commercials on that time slot with the quickness.
So why the fuss now? Every one of my friends and family members knows how I feel about BET shows, and coonery in general…but you have to be fair here. If “I Love Janice From The Muppet Band” or “To Catch A Crackhead” would have aired on BET instead of VH1 and ratings went through the roof, we wouldn’t have heard a peep.
This argument could go either way (I’m all for removing the show if it is actually degrading to Black people and our culture), but whenever the opportunity arises for a company to act like they give a damn about their (Black) employees, they take advantage. If State Farm and Home Depot expected “Hot Ghetto Mess” to take off, they wouldn’t have stuck their necks out. Don’t believe the hype.