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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Wonderful news

Got this from Gina at What About Our Daughters. Variety reports that Congress is holding a special session to question executives about the "stereotypes and degradation of women -- particularly African- American women."

Tentatively scheduled for September 25 and titled "From Imus to Industry: The Business of Stereotypes and Degradation," the hearing will focus on the lyrics and videos of hip hop. Representative Bobby Rush (I have to say, I underestimated the man - I use to live in his district and was totally unimpressed with his record), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection states: "I want to engage not just the music industry but the entertainment industry at large to be part of a solution." Amen to that.

"I want to talk to executives at these conglomerates who've never taken a public position on what they produce," Rush says. "But it's been surprisingly very difficult to get them to commit to appearing." (No sh*t).

Those slated to appear are Philippe Dauman of Viacom, Doug Morris of Universal Music Group and Edgar Bronfman Jr. of Warner Music Group. Viacom, holding company of both VH1 and BET, particularly should be held accountable for some of the most egregious stereotyping of African-Americans on cable. Its line-up includes the infamous "I Love NY" and "Flava of Love," which features the ghetto antics of some of today's step-in-fetchits. Flava Flav is formerly of Public Enemy (back in the day when hip hop was actually about something). Now he's just a pathetic clown shufflin' and jivin' for his next watermelon and chicken leg. VH1 is also the station that refused a show depicting intelligent black women because it said it wouldn't sell to its audience. For that flagrantly racist decision, VH1 is now the target of a boycott.

That these companies are being held accountable is a miracle in itself. But what will really prove a parting of the Red Sea is if these programmers actually start showing intelligent fare featuring African-Americans. I remember back in the day when BET had hard-hitting news and informative talk shows like "Our Voices" featuring Bev Smith, which focused on topics of interest for AA women. I know it can be done. But these executives simply must stop prostituting themselves (and us) for the almighty dollar.

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Sharon Cullars Coffee Talk at 9/05/2007 03:26:00 PM Permanent Link     | | Home


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