Friday, January 27, 2012

Airing Reality Television Overseas: Are We Giving Other Countries The Wrong Idea About Americans?

I can’t get “Modern Family” here but they air “Keeping Up With The Kardashians”, “Basketball Wives” and shows like them. And that’s fine. Back in the states, I watched and enjoyed “The Jersey Shore” more than anyone should so I get it. But people need substance to survive. They need more than crack. That’s what these shows are; crack cocaine.

I recently read an interview actor Brian J. White gave. In that interview he talked about black women being stereotyped because of shows like “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” and “Love and Basketball”.

I used to get so annoyed by the argument that television was bad for the youth. The idea that watching a couple getting hot and heavy on “Melrose Place” or watching someone get shot on “NYPD Blue” (I’m totally aging myself) would directly affect young viewers was laughable to me. I argued that people gave television too much credit.

And that’s essentially the same argument as the stereotypical black females on reality TV one, right? People are upset because they think viewers watching those shows will think all black women are loud, money-hungry famewhores and young viewers will want to emulate them. But who’s stupid enough to think a whole race of women are no different than a couple of chicks on TV?

Now I’m not so sure.

I live in a country where a lot of people have never interacted with a foreigner before. And I know for a fact that a lot of Nigerians get their information about Americans from movies and television. Can you imagine the warped ideas people have about the United States if all of their information comes from rap music videos?
Fuck standards. We're rich!

So now, when I watch an episode of  “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” here in Lagos, I’m kind of filled with horror. Do Nigerians think all Americans are like that?

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