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“All My Babies’ Mamas”: Has Reality TV Gone Too Far?

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Shawty Lo’s upcoming reality show All My Babies’ Mamas has stirred up a controversy before it has even aired.  Thousands have signed online petitions asking networks not to air the television show stating that it encourages the degradation of women and children and stereotypes the black community.  And it seems that the show will be guilty of doing all these things.

Shawty Lo doesn’t refer to his “babies’ mamas” by name.  He has given them nicknames including “Fighter Baby Mama” and “No-Drama Baby Mama”.  And the show also seems to perpetuate negative stereotypes against the black community.  But isn’t this what fuels reality television to begin with?

Here Comes Honey Boo Boo reinforces the stereotype that all people from the South are rednecks.  Now, thanks to Jersey Shore everyone has their own preconceived notions of what state of New Jersey is like.  Even the premise behind Sister Wives isn’t that far off from Shawty Lo’s television drama.  This led me to the question of whether it was this one reality show that needed changing or reality television in general?

We hate stereotyping and protest so strongly against it, but isn’t that what we encourage by turning on reality tv shows?  Who really is to blame: the people involved in the production of the shows or us, the viewers, who continue to watch the same thing?  I’m not saying reality television is bad, but maybe we should look at the world of reality television as a whole before we stand in arms against one individual aspect of it.

Who even knows if All My Babies’ Mamas is going to succeed.  I see it being likely.  People love senseless drama, and this show is guaranteed to have it.  With all the controversy already surrounding the show, it’s steadily garnering intrigue and interest.  After all, there’s no such thing as bad publicity.


Mackenzie is an Alabama native attending NYU and studying Journalism and Dramatic Literature. She hopes to one day live in London and write for the BBC.