Sorry, “All My Babies’ Mamas”, but the public has spoken – and the consensus is that you are just not fit for television. After a public uproar resulted in a campaign and a petition that gained more than 37, 000 signatures, Oxygen has decided not to move forward with the one hour reality special “All My Babies’ Mamas”. The special was reportedly going to feature Atlanta-based rapper Shawty Lo, who has 11 children from 10 different women, but Oxygen did not have a deal with the families yet and other families were being considered as well.
Last week, civil rights group ColorOfChange.org and author Sabrina Lamb started a petition to urge Oxygen not to move forward with the show and for sponsors to pull their support because they felt that the show would promote “inaccurate, dehumanizing and harmful perceptions of Black families."
Previously, Oxygen denied any charges that the show was intended to be “a stereotypical representation of everyday life for any one demographic or cross section of society,” but instead they insisted it was about “the complicated lives of one man, his children’s mamas and their army of children.”
After mounting pressure from the public, however, Oxygen released the following statement yesterday.
“As part of our development process, we have reviewed casting and decided not to move forward with the special”, Oxygen said. “We will continue to develop compelling content that resonates with our young female viewers and drives the cultural conversation.”
Petition author Sabrina Lamb released her own statement after she heard the news.
"On this official birthday of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, who fought for justice for all, and especially children, he once said, ‘Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.' I am pleased that Oxygen Media has heard the outrage of over 37,000 consumers and shareholders who said, ‘enough is enough,'" Lamb said. "We will not support any network and advertiser which exploits the plight of children and targets young women with stereotypical, dangerous, unsafe messages. This petition, this victory is for them. Adults have choices and today, children, through 37,000 petitioners, have voices."