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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

‘All My Babies’ Mamas’: New Low In Reality TV?

Rapper Shawty Lo is pictured with his 11 children and their 10 mothers in a short video promoting the planned Oxygen TV show "All My Babies' Mamas." (screenshot)

Rapper Shawty Lo is pictured with his 11 children and their 10 mothers in an online video promoting the planned Oxygen TV special “All My Babies’ Mamas.” (screenshot)

Critics say reality television has hit a new low. And that’s saying something.

The cable TV channel Oxygen is developing a one-hour special called, “All My Babies’ Mamas,” which follows the life of Carlos Walker, a.k.a. rapper Shawty Lo, his 11 children and their 10 mothers in Atlanta.

A 13-minute “sizzle” reel is making the rounds online. When Sabrina Lamb saw the preview of the show, she said her blood curdled.

“I was horrified, it was as if someone slapped me across the face,” Lamb told Here & Now’s Robin Young.

Lamb, an author and CEO of WorldofMoney.org, a non-profit that educates New York City youth on financial responsibility, started an online petition, calling on Oxygen to drop the show.

She said she was also outraged by Oxygen’s press release about the show, which said in part:

“Oxygen will give fans an intimate look at unconventional families with larger than life personalities and real emotional stakes,” says Cori Abraham, Senior Vice President of Development, Oxygen Media. “’All My Babies’ Mamas’ will be filled with outrageous and authentic over-the-top moments that our young, diverse female audience can tweet and gossip about.”

The Parents Television Council added its voice to the mix Monday, urging Oxygen to cancel the show, calling it “grotesquely irresponsible and exploitative.”

Oxygen declined an interview request, but sent a statement saying:

“Oxygen’s one-hour special in development is not meant to be a stereotypical representation of everyday life for any one demographic or cross section of society. It is a look at one unique family and their complicated, intertwined life. Oxygen Media’s diverse team of creative executives will continue developing the show with this point of view.”

As of Tuesday morning, Lamb’s petition had drawn more than 27,000 signatures.

Meanwhile, the Parents Television Council is threatening to contact corporate sponsors if Oxygen doesn’t pull the plug on the show.

Do you think Oxygen should cancel plans for “All My Babies’ Mamas”? Let us know on our Facebook page.

Guest:

  • Sabrina Lamb, started an online petition urging Oxygen to cancel “All My Babies’ Mamas.” She is also CEO of WorldofMoney.org, a non-profit that educates New York City youth on financial responsibility. She tweets @sabrinalamb.

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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