Here’s the latest update on the reality show train wreck that will never be: Oxygen has canceled its plans to air All My Babies’ Mamas, the coontastic family circus which intended to put all on display, for everyone’s viewing pleasure, what the dysfunctional relationship between 10 women and the one man who impregnated all of them looks like. Inspired by the success of way, way too many other reality shows that stereotype Black folks in some capacity—mostly to make us look hot in the pants, loose in the morals and short in the temper—Oxygen jumped on the bandwagon to make their money off of ghetto unfabulous characterization, too. (Not that there aren’t already enough of us on Bad Girls Club.”)
But thanks to the diligence of author Sabrina Lamb, who launched a petition garnering some 37,000 signatures in protest of the forthcoming special and organizations and leaders who co-signed that outrage, the network canned their plans. You know you done went too far when the NAACP gets involved. Now Shawty Lo is out a paycheck, so methinks he’s gonna have to support his 11 children in some other way—and I’m almost positive it’s not going to be from that rap career. In an effort to wage their own protest, bless their hearts, his camp has launched a change.org petition to resume intentions to air the show.
Kali Bowyer, a publicist who has some very unsavory things crop up in a Google search of her name, writes the following in the counter-effort asking Oxygen to reconsider:
A man is supposed to take care of his children, and the mother(s), weather [sic] it be singular or plural.
So here’s the question, would you rather see 11 children struggle with mothers on welfare? Or watch a man support his children? Does it come down to the race card?
Other networks that currently showcase polygamy, promiscuity, and alcoholism are on the air, with multiple mothers and magnitudes of children. So what’s the difference? Because Shawty Lo is black and a rapper? Yes, I said it he’s black, ( just in case you didn’t already know ).
She goes on to draw a comparison between the now-defunct Shawty Lo show and Sister Wives on TLC, which showcases the lifestyle of polygamist Kody Brown, his four wives and the 16 children they brought into the world. It’s also an unorthodox situation, even though a man with multiple wives is historically and, in some places, culturally old hat. But at least, at the very least, there’s a level of commitment there and set expectations that have allowed the arrangement to work fluidly, if not communally. What Oxygen was proposing was a voyeuristic glimpse at a moshpit of women scurrying for money, privilege and, more than likely, the cocked and loaded penis that landed them in this situation in the first place. No thanks.
Not airing the show is a victory, but still caught in the middle of that real-life madness are 11 children who will grow up seeing this anarchy play out, televised or untelevised, and believe that it’s typical. They may be more prone to repeating the cycle of baby mama and baby daddy-ism because it’s so glorified in their households. And, their parents were willing to star center stage in a show about it. They could very well miss the efforts to promote sexual responsibility because promiscuity is their family norm. Because let’s be real—if Shawty Lo had used condoms, and those bad boys broke 1, 2, 3, even 4 times to result in pregnancies, I would still hope he would’ve bought a better brand of rubbers or started making different choices before lucky numbers 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 or 11.
You don’t have 11 kids by accident and, rumor has it, number 12 may be well on the way. If you decide to have that many babies from unprotected sex with a whole sorority of random chicks, you need to have a plan to take care of them. And it shouldn’t hinge on a reality show or a fledgling stint in hip-hop. So on to the next one, Shawty Lo. Devise a better birth control plan—because surely a man is just as responsible for it as a woman is—and beef up that resume. There’s nothing worse than a 36-year-old rapper pimping off his rabbit-like baby-making to make himself seem more interesting than he ever really was.