Sure, it's over the top, but if the market's there isn't there enough room on the tv dial to accommodate even the shows we personally don't like?
Or should shows like this and Honey Boo Boo be forced off the air?
I've never watched programming like these shows, are they really that bad? Is the audience capable of deciding what is and isn't acceptable? Is there proof out there that programming such as this is corrupting or detrimental to its audience?
Have we gone too far? It's a question we ask at the outset of every outrageous new reality series—be it "Survivor" or "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo." It's also usually an early sign of a show's success.
But response to a new show teased as part of Oxygen Media's spring lineup, seems to mark a momentous moment when reality has truly jumped the shark. Collective and largely unchallenged outrage over the network's upcoming show "All My Babies' Mamas" is the unusual case of a show sparking enough controversy to potentially kill it.
"All My Babies' Mamas," a one-hour reality special slated to air in the spring of 2013, features Carlos "Shawty Lo" Walker, an Atlanta-based hip-hop artist with 11 children by 10 different women. Oh, he's also got a 19-year-old girlfriend, who's a year shy of his oldest child.
By the looks of the leaked sneak peak and an early press release, the show's take on this challenging family dynamic is more "Brady Bunch" than "An American Family."
"As the household grows, sometimes so does the dysfunction, leaving the man of the house to split his affection multiple ways while trying to create order," reads the goofy-sitcom-style description, in a press release posted the Oxygen's website late December. "Will there be a conflict over a family holiday, who needs school supplies and who holds the household finance purse strings, or can these feisty babies' mamas band together and live peacefully as one family unit?"
Since the show was publicized, the conflict has been primarily off-camera. Calls for a boycott of the network and a petition to pull the special from the network's lineup have risen to a fever pitch in the past week.
"By pushing these degrading images, your company seeks to profit from the humiliation of girls and women and the blatant stereotyping of African-Americans," writes, Sabrina Lamb, the woman behind the petition.
Lamb first noticed the press release on Oxygen's website, and after watching a 13-minute sample reel of the series on YouTube—which at one point features Shawty Lo unsuccessfully naming his 11 kids as quiz show music plays—she wrote an open letter to the present of Oxygen calling for the cancellation of the show before it goes to air.