“Read a Book” cartoon/video airs on BET: sattire or of satan?
Satire is not lost on me, I promise you. One of my favorite movies is Spike Lee's Bamboozled, where people walked out at the showing I went to. And Boondocks, loved and loathed by many, is one of my favorite show on T.V. (when it airs). But Read a Book is asking me to stretch my satirical tolerance to an absurd level.
I have to give props to my mom for turning me on to Read a Book, the YouTube that I'm running in unedited format. She was descibing the contents to me over the phone and to her credit, she painted a picture that is exacly what is shown on the video. But in my mind I still couldn't rationalize the fact that something like what she had explained could run on T.V.
Then as I was researching the subject I realized what station had chosen to air Read a Book: our very own B.E.T. It made all the sense in the world….or does it?
I then ran across the creators of this video explaining why they made Read a Book, and what they were hoping to accomplish as a result. It sounds pretty good as they say it, but so did "It depends on what your definitions of is…is."
Were this video running after 10 p.m., I may allow their logic to hold up. But the decision to run this cartoon in the daytime where young kids can watch is not healthy. But to their point, neither is anything else that runs on Black Entertainment Television.
In the other YouTubes posted you can watch CNN's anchor Tony Harris interview the guys who made the video. The creators said that they were surprised that BET would run something that was designed to fun of them. But I believe the station understands, unlike the guys who did this video, that their viewers are not that critical. BET is banking on the fact that their viewers won't make the connection.
The answer is not as simple as it seems. The outrage that some feel towards this video is good, but are we saying that the images are O.K. as long as they are not cartoon format? The same type of outrage should be directed at B.E.T. everyday of the year. EVERY DAY. Take the cartoons on Read a Book and make the live action and you have 106 & Park.
The creators of Read a Book, I believe, are well intentioned but missed the mark. The assertion that one of the guys makes that 11 or 12 year-olds understand satire is way off base. I see this as a Bookdocks wannabe and a poor one at that. But if it gets us (via the Imus end around) to eventually address the BET elephant in the room then I'm all for it.