The Woman Who Stopped Shawty Lo: ‘The Slave Auction Continues’

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What is it about this show that you think crossed the line so much, that made you want to take action?

SL: Well, first of all, this happened very quickly. I was preparing a peaceful New Year’s Eve with champagne and candles. A friend of mine emailed me the pilot of the show. And I don’t get to watch everything my friends send me, but something said, ‘Open this e-mail and watch.’ And it just slapped me across the face. Tears came to my eyes. These women who look like me. First of all, this network and a segment of our culture feel that black women don’t even deserve the term ‘mother.’ We’re a demeaning term called ‘baby’s mamas.’ We’re a joke! It’s always done with a giggle or we’re just a burden to someone. We’re not worthy of being married and we’re sluts and we’ll not even protect ourselves from diseases or pregnancy. But the problem was, 11 of his children are sitting there front row! I mean, where do people think these kids are? In Vermont? They’re seeing their parents’ chaos. And I see the impact of all that stuff. When my children say, ‘When are adults going to stand up? When are they gonna stop acting a fool? When is my mother going to stop having all of these men in my house? When? When is my father going to be a father?’

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HB: Do you think you have something against Shawty Lo? Or it is just what he is representing?

SL: No. I don’t know him personally at all. The Senior VP of Oxygen Media Cori Abraham thought this was just a gigglefest. ‘We’re gonna provide over the top moments for our young, diverse, female audiences to see these feisty baby mommas fight for who gets all these school supplies. Who gets financial support as they split affection of one man multiple ways? So we’re gonna give you all these over the top, dysfunctional moments so you can Tweet about.’

HB: There’s a problem with the formula of entertainment television…

SL: It’s a joke! This petition quickly attracted people. I have a coalition because it’s not just me anymore. There are six of us who said, ‘Enough is enough!’

Dorothy Height–I remember her as a young woman, she predicted this day would come. First they were going to come for you and your images and prosecute your images for silver and then they’re going to come for your children and we let it happen. The fact that it’s 2013 and there’s no African-American producers at these networks that can green light projects is a felony. And the fact that Black people are protesting this can’t even get a building pass at any of these networks and they’re upset that this buffoonery can’t even go on air!

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