Petition Closed
Petitioning Vh1 Toni Herron

#ResponsibleRealityTV : Cable Networks Must STOP the Exploitation of Negative Stereotypes of Black Women & Interpersonal Violence on #RealityTV

706
Supporters

In 2006, Vh1 began the trend of exploiting negative Black stereotypes with the reality show Flavor of Love. Since then the network has profited by producing reality shows such as Love & Hip Hop and Basketball Wives, “unscripted” programs whose story lines revolve around Black cast members acting out some of the most harmful stereotypes that exist about Black people.

Media consumers need to be educated about the harmful effects these images have on reality, as these shows normalize interpersonal violence and bullying as entertaining and acceptable. Black American youth spend more time viewing media than any other youth group, and increased awareness about the danger of these images is imperative. Networks and viewers must work together to implement more responsible reality television programming.

Negative reality shows like Oxygen’s Bad Girls Club and Bravo’s Real Housewives of Atlanta are sending the message that bullying, emotional instability, infidelity, verbal, emotional and physical abuse are normal behaviors, especially for Black people. These shows are damaging our community and the distribution of “reality crack" to viewers has got to stop.

Since the Vh1 network started the trend of this racially exploitative, degrading content and are the market leader, they must be challenged to take the lead in reshaping reality TV.  As the first step towards change, we are requesting they implement Truth in Reality’s Principles of Responsible Reality to its existing broadcast standards and practices:

Principles of Responsible Reality

* Acts of bullying or domestic violence will not be televised. Violence may be intimated but not aired

* Reality show participants must sign a pledge to not commit acts of physical violence while filming. Any participant who violates this pledge will be immediately fired from the show and subject to criminal and/or civil penalties.

* Reality production teams will no longer hire official security detail in order to protect reality cast members filming as presence of on-set security teams infers the expectation of physical violence between cast members.

In order to get these changes implemented we need your support!

Here are the 4 C’s of how you can take action:

1. Commit to not watching targeted shows 

2. Co-sign the Truth in Reality Change.org petition & forward to your friends 
3. Contact Vh1 by emailing them a copy of the petition letter 
4. Communicate the message of the Responsible Reality TV movement on Facebook & Twitter using the hashtags #TruthInReality #ResponsibleRealityTV

 

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To continue to be a part of the discussion on how reality television is negatively impacting girls and young women nationwide, follow us on TwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

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Contact information to email petition: 

Toni Herron 

Vice President Communications

Vh1

212-846-7528 

Toni.Herron@vh1.com

 

Letter to
Vh1 Toni Herron
I just signed the following petition addressed to: Vh1

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#ResponsibleRealityTV : Cable Networks Must STOP the Exploitation of Negative Stereotypes of Black Women & Interpersonal Violence on #RealityTV

To: Jeff Olde, EVP of Original Programming, Vh1 Network

I am writing you to ask for a change in the way Vh1 portrays bullying and other forms of interpersonal violence on its reality programming.

Under your leadership as Executive Vice President of Original Programming, Vh1 has profited immensely by consciously choosing to exploit negative racial stereotypes and promote violent behavior by and towards black women. As a matter of fact, Vh1’s entire primetime lineup is comprised of shows revolving around black cast members perpetuating almost every negative stereotype that exists of black people - especially black women.

Shows such as Black Ink Crew, Love & Hip Hop and Basketball Wives normalize bullying, emotional instability, infidelity, and verbal, emotional and physical abuse. They cause viewers to internalize negative stereotypes of black women while simultaneously reinforcing our community’s cultural acceptance of interpersonal violence, which ultimately leads to our disproportionately high rates of all forms of violence, especially violence against black women. Studies have shown that frequent viewership of reality programming increases aggression and bullying among young women.

To be clear: Vh1 did not create these issues but their reality television programming normalizes interpersonal behaviors that do lead to our overrepresentation in these areas. While Vh1 isn’t the only network profiting off of the negative stereotypes of women, they are the most prolific distributor of “reality crack” to the American public.

As a first step towards change, we are requesting that Vh1 implement the Truth in Reality "Principles of Responsible Reality TV" as part of its broadcast standards and practices for Original Programming:

Principles of Responsible Reality TV

* Acts of bullying or domestic violence will not be televised. Violence may be intimated but not aired.
* Reality show participants must sign a pledge to not commit acts of physical violence while filming. Any participant who violates this pledge will be immediately fired from the show and subject to criminal and/or civil penalties.
* Reality production teams will no longer hire official security detail in order to protect reality cast members filming as presence of on-set security teams infers the expectation of physical violence between cast members.

The above changes should be guidelines followed by both in-house producers and the outside producers and production companies that Vh1 engages.