Press Release: Black Bloggers and Civil Rights Groups Unite to Topple BET’s “Hot Ghetto Mess”
Black Bloggers and Civil Rights Groups Unite to Topple BET's "Hot Ghetto Mess"
Austin, TX -July 19, 2007 – If Viacom's Black Entertainment Television goes through with it's plans to air " Hot Ghetto Mess" next week, many people will be watching, but not for the reason BET wants. Realizing that mere online advocacy was not going to be enough to topple "Hot Ghetto Mess" after she'd gotten advertisers to flee the show, Gina McCauley, creator of the blog What About Our Daughters? turned to a coalition of religious and women's groups including the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the National Coalition for Black Civic Participation, National Organization for Women, Rainbow PUSH, and the National Congress of Black Women.
The result is what may very well be the largest intergenerational collaboration between young online activists and their older offline counterparts in United States history. Their focus; to convince advertisers that buying ad time on BET's "Hot Ghetto Mess" just isn't worth it, despite the high ratings that the show is likely to bring if it airs.
On July 25, 2007, "Hot Ghetto Mess" watch parties are being scheduled in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, Austin, the District of Columbia and the list of locations keeps growing. Those attending the watch parties will be recording which companies purchase advertisements during the show. The coalition then plans to target those businesses with possible boycotts or demonstrations.
" The message we want to send to advertisers is that "Hot Ghetto Mess" is radioactive. They don't want to come within one mile of it." McCauley said.
Transitioning from being a one-woman blog to working with long-established organizations has not been easy. "There's a reason why the only organization I belong to is AAA( the roadside assistance company)." In fact McCauley's dialogue with these groups began after she wrote a post on her blog criticizing their methods.
"I'm not going to lie and say I haven't been impatient with the pace of their response," said McCauley. "As a blogger I move at warp speed. I can respond instantaneously with one click. I don't have to have a committee debate what I am going to release to the world." While initially disappointed with the pace of the response to her request for assistance, her patience is finally beginning to pay off.
"Yes, to me, they move at glacial speed." McCauley says of the organizations she's been working with "BUT, when they move- THEY MOVE!". Currently that glacier is aimed straight at Black Entertainment Television and Viacom. ###