Sabrina Lamb, the creator of a Change.org petition urging Oxygen Media to cancel upcoming reality-TV show All My Babies' Mamas, told Ebony that she has one goal: to make sure "this monstrosity never sees the light of day."
What exactly is the "monstrosity"? A show set to air this spring and recently teased in a 13-minute trailer that follows "the complicated lives of [rapper Shawty Lo], his children's mamas and their army of children." The eight mothers featured are given nicknames including "no drama baby mama," "wanna-be bourgie baby mama" and "shady baby mama."
More than 19,000 people have signed the petition, which calls the program "racist" and exploitative.
"Cancel this junk ASAP!" wrote one supporter. Another vowed to boycott the entire network if All My Babies' Mama were to air. Comments left on the petition have been directly forwarded to Oxygen's President, Senior Vice President and Senior Vice President of Development, as well as the President of DiGa Vision, the production company behind the series. Lamb's goal for the petition is that "this monstrosity never sees the light of day." So far, her petition has generated considerable attention from online blogs and mainstream news outlets alike.
But could Lamb's cause really lead to cancelation?
"If the network thinks the controversy will generate ratings, and if brands don't bail, they'll stay the course," Aymar Jean Christian, assistant professor of communication at Northwestern University, says. "If big sponsors pull out, Oxygen may pull the series." Lamb also threatens that she and her supporters will boycott any advertisers who choose to support the show. "I don't know what advertiser would want to sponsor Black child exploitation and expect over 13,000 people to support them," she said. "I understand the emotionalism regarding all the horrible things that we experience on this planet, but we have to move past the emotionalism to activism that directly targets the economic part of the outrage."
Oxygen, according to a statement released in response to the negative reaction, is either clueless about the origins of such concerns or pretending to be, insisting that the program is "not meant to be a stereotypical representation of everyday life for any one demographic or cross section of society," but is "a look at one unique family and their complicated, intertwined life."
Well, "unique" is one word for it. But we doubt that description is going to make the show any more palatable to those who are planning to boycott the entire network if it airs.
Read more at Ebony.