Recently, there has been an uproar over a new show on Viacom’s BET originally called “Hot Ghetto Mess”, which was based on a popular underground website of the same name.
As a result of an unexpected consumer backlash against the name/show, it has been redubbed “We Can Do Better”.
Same content, just different labeling.
But the point here is not a matter of branding or crisis management; rather, it is what appears to be a further sinking depth to which corporate media will go for advertising dollars and the maximization of shareholder value.
Some critics have said that the show is an embarrassment to Black America. However, it should be an embarrassment to Viacom, just as Don Imus should have been to General Electric executives before the public outcry against his callous “nappy-headed ho’s” utterance.
This isn’t the ghetto’s “hot mess”, nor should it be laid at the feet of Black people. This mess falls squarely on the shoulders of media behemoth Viacom.
This is your mess< Viacom. And “[you] can do better”. It’s just a shame that it won’t — as long as its executives know that, in the end, if there’s a way to couple a magic the right combination of racist, sexist and classist programming to be awash in advertising revenue for at least one season.