A petition is circulating to have the reality TV show Love and Hip-Hop: Atlanta removed off the air. Only a few day’s after it’s premiere, furious viewers are accusing the show of exploiting black women. The first episode featured Mama Dee, rapper Lil’ Scrappy’s mother, admitting to being a former pimp and drug dealer. It went on to introduce inspiring rapper Joseline Hernandez as a former stripper who’s been rumored to be spending too much time with her producer Stevie J. Following the premiere of the show, Joseline Hernandez tweeted a photo of herself naked not long after the show aired, to fight allegations that she was a man.
An article posted in the Huffington Post entitled “Will the Real Black People of Atlanta Please Stand Up?” was so angry over the show that she said, “We as Atlantans…should no longer sit by and allow our city’s rich legacy–our race’s rich legacy–to be marred in the name of discount entertainment.”
I, like many of you, watched in complete horror as a cable network debuted yet another reality drama based on black life as it purportedly unfolds in the ATL. I will refrain from mentioning the name of this show because if you saw it then you already know what I’m referring to and if you didn’t then I do not wish to entice or encourage you to seek it out. In fact, the more that I reflect on my feelings about what I witnessed Monday evening, the more I realize that my disgust lies not just with that particular show alone, but with the way that the city which was once a symbol of black progress is now being portrayed in the media as a whole.
Series after series I have watched with great chagrin as popular reality TV franchises select the jewel of the south to lift the veil of mystique behind the city’s affluent and create what ultimately amounts to a ratings bonanza for the networks and a cash windfall for the producers.
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