Should’ve Seen It Coming: Petition To Boycott Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta Launched

June 22, 2012  |  

Only one episode of a likely 10 of “Love and Hip-Hop Atlanta” has aired on VH1 and already some viewers have had enough. Following in the footsteps of the viral anti-“Basketball Wives” petition, Erin Harper of Atlanta, GA, has launched a petition on Change.org to boycott LHHATL.

The petition reads:

Stop Dealing Crack and Tell True Stories

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 in EXTREMELY dangerous ways.

We all know premium digital crack rock is ‘slanged’ in more digital hoods than VH1. We also know the problem is not just TV–it’s is a big, mean, social monster that we’ve gotta shoot down one non-violent bullet at a time. Nevertheless, somebody’s gotta be the face of this lovely movement. And since VH1 has chosen to give us yet another beautifully-blinged jewel of commercial exploitation (Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta), they might as well be the face of change. By the way, shout out to all African Americans who received Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta as their Juneteenth gift! You won and lost at the same time!

As we work toward national- and local-level change, let’s tell VH1 and their sponsors (again) why people from a broad range of backgrounds will NOT stand for the exploitation of the lived experiences of people who may not even know they’re being exploited. This isn’t a “Black or White” thing, this is a HUMAN thing…and we should all understand.

P.S. That “turn of the TV/your kids’ TV if you don’t want to watch” argument doesn’t work here, VH1. A good number of the kids who are most at risk don’t have the luxury of living with parents who can just “turn off the TV”. Why? Because their parents are out working multiple jobs (thanks to this lovely thing called poverty), both parents are dead or in jail, or they’re raised by ill grandparents, relatives who aren’t that interested in their future, or foster parents who abuse them and only foster to collect a check.

So far, 377 signers are e-standing with Erin to eliminate this “digital crack” as she calls it. Some of the comments on the petition include:

Just tired of the media taking advantage of our people…we do have strong role model in our community and this level of rachet-ness isn’t the norm for a lot of us…Another prime example of the cycle of breaking down our relationships and the constant struggle to maintain them…There is no Glory in exploitation…VH1, Jive record and Mona Scott need a lashing!

It seems that the only time a network is interested in backing a television show about Black men and women is when we behave the way we’re “expected” to instead of how the overwhelming majority of us actually do. Shows like this make the climb a little steeper and more slippery for those of us women trying to be seen for who we really are instead of how that Black woman behaved on television last night…..

Negative images create negative perceptions and sends a poisonous message to the masses about black identity.

I’m signing because I’m tired of “reality” television exploiting people – especially people of color. Shows like this demean all of us. I do my best to support businesses that demonstrate an interest in social responsibility, and for those that don’t, I hold them accountable! Straighten up VH1!

Only time will tell if this effort gains the same national attention from public figures and advertisers as the BBW petition. Will you sign it?

Brande Victorian is the news and operations editor for madamenoire.com. Follow her on twitter @Be_Vic.

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