All Articles Tagged "Change.org"
‘Tyler Perry Is Malt Liquor For The Community!’ Petition Created To Kick Director’s New Shows Off OWN
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?
Halt The Hiatuses: “Scandal” Fan Starts Change.org Petition To Get ABC Execs To Stop All The Breaks Between New Episodes
I’m sure most folks who watch Scandal have noticed throughout the season that the show has had quite a few breaks between new episodes from time to time. Hell, the show is currently on hiatus-mode until April 25, which will have put the series on “sleep mode” for three long weeks. While this does happen with many sitcoms, fans of Scandal are just about sick of it, and they’re letting their voice be heard.
According to Shadow and Act, a petition, from Change.org of course, has been started to encourage fans to hit up Anne Sweeney, the president of entertainment for ABC, but to do so in a polite manner. Word is, it is the ABC execs who are putting the show on so many breaks, as Shonda Rhimes has already made it clear that she is just the creative, but has nothing to do with any scheduling issues (“I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR WHEN SHOWS AIR. I do not have anything to do with the fact that we are not on for 3 weeks. #donottweetmeyourcrazy”). Here’s what the petition creator, T R Mason, had to say:
There are very few TV shows on prime time television written by, much less starring people of color. The broadcast networks have made great strides in recent years by diversifying the faces we see on prime time TV however there is more that can be done. Putting a show like Scandal on repeated hiatus is a surefire way to lose fans and viewers.
Gladiators/Scandalistas/Scandalists everywhere have not gotten over our initial shock that there will be no Scandal AGAIN for 3 more weeks. Instead of whining and complaining, we are doing something about it! Shonda Rhimes is NOT the reason there’s another hiatus. It’s the TV execs at Disney/ABC Television Group. Let your voices and displeasure be heard by contacting Anne Sweeney, the President of ABC Entertainment…
Or send her a nice little profanity free email at email@example.com. Let her know how unhappy we all are and maybe, just maybe they’ll pick up enough episodes that we Gladiators won’t have to be on hiatus AGAIN against our will. So bombard ABC with your unhappiness by emailing, calling, faxing etc. Mount up Gladiators! Mount up!
Who knew you all called yourselves gladiators?? But anyway, it could have a lot to do with the production of new episodes. The show could be doing so well that new episodes are being ordered, and Lord knows it doesn’t take a day to roll out one of those juicy episodes (more like a week). And as Shadow and Act pointed out, it also could have a lot to do with the need to make money, which is often done by saving a network’s biggest moneymaking shows for the “sweeps” periods during months like February and May, when they can sell advertising space for big dollars. Ratings will be high when shows come to an end in May, so big ratings equals more money networks can ask for from advertisers.
So was a petition necessary? While some only sign petitions for more pressing issues (because we know Change.org has made any and everything, big and minute–as in small–worth a petition), I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt to remind those at ABC that fans are becoming unhappy. But then again, you “Scandalistas” aren’t going anywhere! What else is there to really watch on TV right now?
Is Magic Johnson pulling a little presto change-o of his own to make it look like his new business venture is black owned? Some suspect the answer is yes.
A petition is circulating that criticizes Johnson for allegedly acquiring government monies and major advertisers for his new business venture, Aspire TV, by positioning it as a black network, when in fact, it is anything but. The petition, which is posted on Change.org claims that the network is in actuality being run by “GMC TV and GMC TV executives, which are all white.”
Aspire was launched in 2012 by Johnson as a new network targeting African-American audiences. Aspire was born after a battle waged by Maxine Waters in a congressional hearing over the merger of Comcast with NBCUniversal, which was finalized in 2011. A deal was struck in which Comcast was committed to carry several minority-owned channels. In all, there four networks, including Aspire. Johnson debuted Aspire as he stated at the the would present “positive, uplifting images of African Americans.”
Now, the petition claims that while the programming is black the executives running the station aren’t. There has been no reported response by the Magic camp or GMC TV that we can find. We took a quick look at the GMC TV website and couldn’t find much about the people who run the company. But we did find this opinion piece on News One, which goes after Johnson and GMC TV for putting people in positions that have no real authority and ultimately answering to white executives who make all of the decisions. It also says that GMC is a competitor to Aspire.
“Essentially, GMC has no good reason to make Aspire TV a great property. It would just take valuable market share from GMC,” the opinion piece says.
“This complete lack of control and/or interest on the part of Magic Johnson and his team is like a slap in the face of minorities – not just black people but people of color period,” the article continues.
Will this petition stop you from tuning in?
Do Your Boobs Have To Be Their Business? Petition Demands Victoria Secret Create Bras For Breast Cancer Survivors
As some one who has never had the pleasure of breasts small enough to fit inside of a Victora’s Secret bra, I’ve never had a chance to bask in all the unmentionable goodness that apparently goes on behind those pink walls. So, in essence, I have a “meh” attitude when it comes to the lingerie retailer and it’s offerings because (a) they’re not for me, and (b) there are plenty of other places I can spend my dollars on a good underwire brassiere with some lift.
It appears breast cancer survivors and their supporters don’t quite feel the same, though, as a new petition has recently been created on change.org demanding that Victoria Secret start to manufacture bras for women who have undergone a mastectomy. Inspired by her mother Debbie Barrett, who has been cancer-free for 21 years, Allana Maiden, of Richmond, VA, started the petition, writing:
“Many women who undergo mastectomy surgery because of breast cancer suffer from body image issues. It doesn’t help that they don’t have the option of buying the pretty bras they wore before their battle with cancer, and specialty stores can be hard to find, forcing them to order bras online that they have to send back because they don’t fit properly.
“There are so many women out there, like my mom, who have survived breast cancer but are left feeling altered and uncomfortable because of undergoing chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. I think they deserve to feel beautiful and Victoria’s Secret is the perfect company to help make that happen with a line of “Survivor” mastectomy bras. “
In a press release, Maiden added:
“Victoria’s Secret is supposed to make women feel beautiful, yet the women that deserve that feeling the most get left out. Every woman knows someone that has been impacted by breast cancer, and women are passionate about this cause. What better way to give back to women than to help cancer survivors feel good about themselves?”
It seems quite a few people — 118,000 to be exact — agree with Maiden. That’s the number of supporters who have signed the petition thus far. Though Maiden’s language in the actual letter sent to Victoria Secret is less stern than that on the change.org petition, I wonder if the underlying tone of this effort is a bit…off.
Many a battle has been brought before Victoria Secret in the past. As I alluded to in the beginning of my post, the bra retailer is not exactly the be-all, end-all of bra-wear. Their bras don’t go beyond a D-cup, leaving out I don’t know how many women in the tig ‘ol bitty committee demographic. And there has also been a strong push to get the company to expand their notion of neutral so that other minorities can actually wear flesh tone bras rather than what ends up being beige on most darker hued ladies. Mastectomy bras may be a much nobler cause than these but I think Victoria Secret has made it clear who their (narrow) demographic is and instead of giving them business after strongly urging them to cater to you, I say it’s better to create your own survivor line and give business to those whose bottom line isn’t just dollars.
What do you think about this petition?
Who knew that a one-hour special about one man and his family would be such a negative lightning rod? (Well, honestly, I think most people with sense could have told Oxygen that many folks wouldn’t take too kindly to the show at all when they were trying to develop the plot…)
After telling you about the show, the backlash over it, and the petition that was created on Change.org to get it canceled (remember, this is just a one-hour special, not a full-fledged reality series–as of right now), the folks over at Oxygen have finally decided to come out of hiding and speak on their special, “All My Babies’ Mamas.” The show is set to show off the complications, and positive aspects of Shawty Lo’s life as a man with 11 children by 10 women, and the network in their response wanted to re-emphasize that this show is about one particular man and his family, not a particular “demographic” (black folks) and trying to stereotype how their families are made up in general. In a statement released to Radar Online, Oxygen Media had this to say:
“Oxygen’s one-hour special in development is not meant to be a stereotypical representation of everyday life for any one demographic or cross section of society. It is a look at one unique family and their complicated, intertwined life. Oxygen Media’s diverse team of creative executives will continue developing the show with this point of view.”
So by the sound of that statement, Oxygen has no plans on canceling the special as of yet, and they don’t seem to understand the uproar over it all. But the woman who spearheaded the petition on Change.org, Sabrina Lamb, can break it down for them very easily. In an interview done by Essence.com, we were introduced to Lamb, and she explained why she feels the special needs to be canceled and we need to stop being so accepting of the ratch images that are consistently displayed on television of us:
ESSENCE.COM: If aired, what message do you feel this show will send our children?
LAMB: Number one, it’s okay to have unprotected sex. Number two, that you don’t own your own bodies. And three, that’s okay to have children and then see each other as the enemy. In the clip the women have nicknames like “the angry baby mama” or “the crazy baby mama.” Those children are witness to this. Children are waiting for an adult to speak up and say enough is enough.
In her interview, Lamb also commented that if the show does air, she and MANY of her friends will go to protest in front of the Oxygen Media building. And while some would say, “If you don’t like it, don’t watch it,” Lamb feels as though not only is the show worth lambasting because of the stereotypes it pushes, but because it’s actually also detrimental to the children on it:
“We have to start to draw a line in the sand. We have to decide who we really are, and while we’re deciding that, can we at least understand that our first duty is to protect and nurture our children? We don’t lobby. We’ll call a talk show, but we won’t go after advertisers. This has to stop.”
So there you have it folks, everyone is still at odds about whether this show is a positive or a negative. But we’ll have to wait and see if the petitions and the threats of boycotting advertisers will really make Oxygen budge on all this. Do you think it will?
Ella Edwards’ son died in 2009 at the age of 24. Prior to his death, he studied music production in college. He had three student loans, which Edwards says she was “happy to cosign” in order for him to pursue his career of choice. Now that he’s gone, two of the loans — administered by the federal government — were quickly forgiven. But the administrators of the private loan are still pursuing her for re-payment of the outstanding balance, more than $10,000.
“That’s when American Education Services (AES) and National Collegiate Trust (NCT) turned my son’s dream into a nightmare for me and the two year old son he left behind,” she writes in a Change.org petition that she started to get the loan forgiven. “Jermaine was my only child, and after his death, I was so devastated I could barely get out of bed in the morning. I requested an early retirement from my job, losing much needed retirement benefits.” Are these loan companies serious?
She has amassed more than 20,000 signatures so far. She’s 61 years old and is trying to make the money to make good on the loan, but her depression is a hindrance. Furthermore, the mother of her grandson can’t help.
“Edwards told ABC she decided to start the petition to demand a change in the laws surrounding student loans, and to warn other parents what they might be getting into if they take out a private loan,” ABC News reports (h/t Global Grind).
If you have a soul, this story touches every single nerve in it. But even more than the emotional nature of the story is the issue of student loan indebtedness. InsideHigherEd reported a few weeks back that the “rhetoric of crisis” the media has used to describe the amount of student loan debt might be a little over the top (“…the majority of households owed less than $14,000. However, about 10 percent of households owed more than $62,000. About 850,000 loans are currently in default”), focusing on horror stories of “outliers” who don’t represent the norm. But women, lower-income homes, and minorities are being hit harder than other demographics. In addition, younger people (under age 45) are carrying 70 percent of the debt.
“Students of color tend to borrow more and to have higher unemployment rates, and they are less likely to graduate compared to white peers. For example, about 27 percent of African-American bachelor’s-degree recipients had debt of $30,500 or higher compared to 16 percent of their white peers, according to a 2010 study by the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center,” the story reports.
Either way, for sheer humanity’s sake, this private loan should be forgiven. Let this poor woman grieve in peace.
*Update (12/4): Tom Joyner has offered to pay for this loan, reports RNBPhilly.com. (Thanks for the heads up to our Facebook friend EarthyGirls Trapp.)
Groan. Etsy, the site known for selling crafts, vintage clothing and assorted crap, is also being accused of trying to capitalize on Breast Cancer Awareness Month and selling racist memorabilia.
This week, the site sent a newsletter to subscribers titled “Tickled Pink” with the subhead, “Show your love to the women in your life with Breast Cancer Awareness Month.” However, upon further inspection, it turns out that only eight of the 24 products listed in the newsletter actually support causes related to breast cancer. So now the site is being accused of “pinkwashing” — highlighting things that are pink without contributing to the effort. (It’s similar to greenwashing, giving the impression of being environmentally friendly without actually doing anything to preserve the environment or aid in conservation efforts.)
Etsy’s lead merchandising specialist, Mary Andrews, told The Daily Dot:
We really appreciate the feedback and thoughtful discussion regarding the Etsy Finds email around Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Our aim in the email was to acknowledge this national campaign of awareness. While we do not promote specific shop charities, nor did we make claims to do so in the email, we do support acts of generosity and compassion within the Etsy community. The email was meant for awareness, and created in a supportive spirit. We will take all of this into serious consideration as we map out improvements to our emails and how we promote awareness within our community in the future.
Sounds like pinkwashing to us, even if it was unintentional. They wanted to piggyback on the public’s concern and enthusiasm about Breast Cancer Awareness Month to sell stuff and got called on it.
On to the second and totally not unintentional issue, a woman named Raquel Mack has voiced her anger over the site’s sale of Mammies, Sambos and other racist items. Mack points out that making these things available violates the site’s own policy about providing “items that promote, support, or glorify hatred toward or otherwise demean people based upon: race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, disability, or sexual orientation.” She’s started a Change.org petition that you can sign here. More than 1,000 people have already done so.
The NAACP has also gotten involved, contacting the site and getting this response, according to The Grio: “[O]ur members come from all walks of life, and may hold differing opinions of the legitimate collectibility of certain types of historical items.” Translation: We’re sorry that you’re offended by this racist dreck, but we’re not inclined to do anything about it.
Moreover, The Grio points out that some of the items for sale are new items, being created specifically to be sold on the site, or even do-it-yourself kits so you can make your own hateful little toy, not historical items that have some sort of, perhaps, scholarly significance. Shameful and repugnant.
Get ready for the next trend in Internet haterism: online petitions. We’ve already seen how influential these campaigns can be in the case of the violence and negative depictions of black women on VH1′s “Basketball Wives” and “Love & Hip-Hop” but trying to stop an artist who hasn’t done anything wrong from making music is just, well, wrong.
Non-fans of CRunk & B music artist Ciara have created an online petition on Change.org to literally stop the artist from making music. The justification? “We can’t deal with anymore flops in the industry!” The petition letter reads:
I just signed the following petition addressed to: 2012 STOP CIARA FROM MAKING MUSIC CAMPAIGN.
YOU TIRED OF BACK BENDS? SIGN!
YOU TIRED OF FLOPS? SIGN!
YOU TIRED OF CORNROWS? SIGN!
YOU TIRED OF THIN ASHY VOCALS? SIGN!
YOU TIRED OF GUESSING IF IT’S A MAN OR A WOMAN? SIGN!
I SEE A CHANGE IN OUR FUTURE AMERICA!
Sincerely, ESSENCE OF SEAN!
It looks like the effort was just started today but already there are 169 signatures. There’s not a whole lot anyone can do to stop an artist from getting in the studio which means the folks behind this aren’t really trying to accomplish anything they just want to be shady. I’m no fan of Ciara and I do think it’s time for her to hang it up but her pop-locking isn’t hurting me. Besides I could think of more-deserving recipients of such an effort.
What do you think? Dare I ask, will you be signing this?
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This past weekend, Kelly Price posted on Facebook and tweeted about the poor customer service she and her husband experienced with United Airlines. Now, the singer/actress has started a petition on Change.org blasting what she called the “classist, racist practices hidden in corporate code”.
It started on Saturday night when Kelly Price says that a United Airlines agent in Houston named Stephanie asked her to go to the back of the coach passengers line. Kelly says she was in the line with the Premier and First class ticket holders and that Stephanie didn’t check her ticket first before sending her to the back of the “other line”. The singer alleges that Stephanie then helped the “nonblack man in a suit” instead of her. Kelly tweeted that the co-workers stood by while the agent yelled at her and when Stephanie realized her mistake (and that Kelly was indeed a Premier and First Class ticket holder), she didn’t apologize.
The Queens native kept it classy and filed a formal complaint with United Airlines, but she didn’t stop there.
She has started a Change.org petition titled “Demand United Airlines Treat ALL Passengers Fairly”. According to the website, she is petitioning: The President of the United States, The U.S. Senate, The U.S. House of Representatives, The Governor of CA, The CA State Senate, The CA State House and Jeff Smisek President United Airlines (United Airlines).
Her petition reads:
Profiling passengers is a common thing with air travel. The world has changed and traveling has not been the same since 9-11. The discomfort and sometimes annoying process of getting from here to there is a cross we all bear in this country to insure the safety of all Americans when we travel by airplane. Unfortunately, some use this as a bullying tool.
On Saturday June 23, 2012 I was bullied by Stephanie a United Airlines employee when she assumed I was not a first class passenger and refused me service at the Customer Service/Rebooking counter in Houston. Even once she realized she was wrong she still ignored me and refused to help me. Her co-workers also ignored me. When I asked to see her name on her badge she hid it and began to scream out loud that I was harrassing her in an attempt to have security come an remove me. I am not a terrorist. I am not a criminal. Had Stephanie (The United Airlines Employee) been successful in her attempt to have me removed I would have likely been arrested and certainly not allowed to travel that day.
As American citizens we are entitled to each have the same civil liberties and basic rights. I want United Airlines to have mandatory Cultural Diversity and Tolerance training for ALL employees of their company. I want United Airlines to implement better checks and balances that insure their employees CANNOT misuse their “authority” with customers and passengers. I want a United policy that demands the immediate termination of a United Airlines employee who discriminates or violates the civil and/or consumer rights of a customer/passenger in either of these manners. Classist, Racist practices hidden in corporate code cannot be tolerated. If we don’t speak out this will never change.
After talking about her ordeal, Kelly tweeted: I wish I knew 600,000 miles ago what I know now about @United. 600k that would be the # of miles I’ve flown on YOUR airline in the last 5yrs.
600-thousand miles is a lot and I’d be interested to know if she’s had a negative experience in the past. United Airlines is the world’s largest airline but last year, in a story titled America’s Meanest Airlines: 2011, US News and World Report ranked United as the “Worst Major Carrier”. The LA Times reports that the latest statistics from U.S. Transportation Department show United is the most complained-about airline in America by far.
Kelly says her complaint isn’t about money or fame, but about her civil rights being violated and that no one (celebrity or non) should have to put up with that. More than 500 people have signed her petition so far. Given the track record of Change.org and the major movements it has sparked around the country, it’s likely this petition will reach the necessary eyes and ears in the corporate office, possibly sparking a change in the company…or at least getting Kelly Price a sincere apology.
What do you think about Kelly Price’s petition?
Alissa Henry is a freelance writer living in Columbus, OH. Follow her on Twitter @AlissaInPink
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Things are a lot less fresher on the “Basketball Wives” set because according to the anti-”Basketball Wives” petition on change.org, Summer’s Eve has pulled its advertising during the show and its expected sponsorship of the spinoff, “Chad and Ev.”
Petition creator Alexis M. posted the update on the change website yesterday along with an announcement that another company would be pulling its ads soon too.
“Just received a phone call from Summer’s Eve. They have decided to PULL ALL THEIR ADS from ‘Basketball Wives’ and upcoming ‘Eve And OCHO’!!!! YAY!
One other company has decided to pulled their ads from ‘Basketball Wives’ & ‘EVE And OCHO’ but they ask me not to announce it yet. I will name that company next week.”
Popular Critic points out that advertisers pulling out of the shows is only half of VH1 and Shed Media’s problem. Viewership of the once-popular series is also declining. Basketball Wives’ ratings have slipped from a season 4 debut of 2million viewers, to an average of 1.87 million viewers and now 1.74 million, according to Futon Critic. A lot of women probably stopped watching the show on their own after the slap heard around the reality TV world aired, but the notoriety of Alexis M.’s petition is no doubt playing a huge part in the decline. Just a few weeks into its effort, the boycott has already garnered 23,500 signatures.
These ladies might want to start exploring new career options.
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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