Online mobilisation forces advertiser pull out from BET's racist series

Publié le par hort

"Mess" flap spurs advertisers to drop BET series

By Andrew Wallenstein
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Mounting backlash against an upcoming BET series accused of trafficking in racial stereotypes has prompted at least two advertisers to pull out of the premiere episode on the Viacom Inc.-owned channel. Sources said Monday that such companies as State Farm Insurance Cos. and the Home Depot requested that their advertisements be yanked from the new comedy series "Hot Ghetto Mess" as well as from a Web page on touting the program.
BET declined to confirm specific advertisers defecting from the program but released the following statement: "A few of our clients have asked to move to other programming dayparts, and we simply accommodated their request." The corporate retreat appeared to be in response to a growing chorus of critics who have been calling for an advertiser boycott of the series, which is scheduled to premiere at 10:30 p.m. July 25. (A copy of the pilot could not be obtained before press time.)
"Mess" is a compilation of viewer-submitted home videos and BET-produced man-on-the-street segments that exhibit blacks in unflattering situations that typically illustrate the excesses of so-called hip-hop culture. Also drawing some fire is the show's 10 p.m. lead-in, the new hidden-camera series "S.O.B. (Socially Offensive Behavior)," as well as the logo for "Mess," which appears to be an animated blackface character depicted with a red slash through the image.All six episodes of "Mess" are hosted by Charlie Murphy, a comedian best known from another program that tackled racially charged humor, the hit Comedy Central series "Chappelle's Show."
Ever since word of the series' development spread in January, "Mess" has been a lightning rod for debate online largely because of the Web site on which the series is based, The 3-year-old site, which also has spawned a DVD documentary, features hundreds of photographs of mostly black men and women with hairstyles and clothing associated with inner-city fashion.
The network and Jam Donaldson, creator of the Web site and an executive producer of the series, maintain that the images are presented in a context meant to spur black America to question its community standards. But others  contend that "Mess" is only perpetuating the stereotypes it seeks to curb.more at:Continued...

Publié dans African diaspora

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