As has become the tradition among disgruntled citizens seeking change, no matter how big or small, a petition has been created to stop Oprah Winfrey’s Network, OWN, from broadcasting Tyler Perry’s new shows.
This past week, OWN saw the debut of two of the director’s new series, “The Haves And The Have Nots” and “Love Thy Neighbor,” and both delivered impressive ratings for the network which is just now on the mend. On Tuesday night, “The Haves and The Have Nots” brought in 1.77 million views
during its first episode, with the second episode, which aired directly after, brought in 1.8 million to become the highest rated show to ever debut on OWN. Similarly, “Love Thy Neighbor,” the Madea-esque series that aired for the first time Wednesday evening, brought in numbers just as high, with 1.65 million views for episode 1
and 1.8 for episode 2.
Someone who we can be sure wasn’t about of that debut viewership is the originator of this change.org petition
urging OWN to drop these new series, Eva Vega. Vega wrote:
For decades Oprah Winfrey has used her television show to educate, empower, and uplift people of all races to be better versions of themselves. OWN has committed to be an extension of this work.
Where it is clear that neither Oprah or Tyler Perry are not experts on race and racism, they have also refused to utilize feedback from the conscious Black community and scholars on racism regarding the damage that Tyler Perry and his brand of entertainment perpetuate against the Black community.
Stop supporting racist stereotypes on OWN and remove Tyler Perry programming!
Then, in a letter specifically to Oprah Winfrey, Vega defends her stance even further, saying:
So far only 89 people have signed the petition, which I doubt will make much of a difference to OWN. There’s no way Oprah and the execs who have been waiting for a return on their investment in the network since its start in 2011 will let this cash cow go. Need we remind you of the numbers? Besides, despite the fact that Tyler Perry’s productions are simple — both in concept and execution — I disagree with the idea that he’s hurting anyone. More often than not, beneath the cheesy lines and over dramatizations there is usually a lesson to learn.
We’ll be following this trail to see just how much headway this petition makes. What do you think about it? Will you sign?