BET's Hot Ghetto Mess (also known as WE GOT TO DO BETTER) is already living up to its name. At least two major advertisers — State Farm and Home Depot, by one account — have pulled out of the July 25 premiere, apparently averse to its content. Inspired by a website, Hot Ghetto Mess (aka WE GOT TO DO BETTER) is a hybrid of viewer-submitted videos and BET-produced segments that, detractors argue, present African-Americans in an unflattering light. "A few of our clients have asked to move to other programming day-parts, and we simply accommodated their request," is all BET will confirm in a statement to Reuters.
A series producer claims the intent is to spur discussion within the black community, while others say it only perpetuates stereotypes. Still others take issue with series cohosts Don Imus and Michael Richards. Joke. TV GUIDE
BELOW: a peek at "Bid 'Em In" by Neal Sopata, which aired during the "WE GOT TO DO
BETTER" premiere on BET.
Some comments (feel free to place your comment below):
What iz dat mess all about?
I don't like looking at dat... what yall think?
Ok I'm a dude and that made me sad. I know we need to
remember slavery because without knowing history it can be repeated.....but Bid Em' In was not
needed. I was disgusted and the way it was presented was comical. BET has lost
all my respect.
Yea that's what im saying... It really did bring me down.
I liked it. It made me think. I don't think that the way it was presented made
that "mess" that you called it ..was suppose to be a message to our
people that we have do better for oursleves .it showed the horrible things we
went through under slavery ..it shows that we are still leaving in slavery and
we dont even kow or just dont care ....
daddysgina: OK I KNOW WE NEED TO DO BETTER, BUT
that was a bit too far! My great great grandmother was a slave and it made me
think about her. Yea we do kno dat we are still going through it, but what are
we going to do about it? How can we make it better? And i can call it
"MESS" if i want to, itz my opinion and I can voice it all i want to
on here... Good Day!
Whoever created that segment...I thought it was
brilliant. Slavery is never a light matter, but that segment demonstrated
to us the mentality of the slave owners towards slaves. That is
something we need to realize. We weren't bought here as humans...we were
bought here as domestic animals. And until a Black Man sits as president of
USA; know that our work isn't done yet. Know that slave owners didn't bring you
here to be their neighbors or business partners. They brought you over as free
labor to work their cotton fields. Use that energy and get your college
education. Become something prominent to yourself, your family and your society.
Lastly, black Americans need to educate
themselves regarding their history. I have many foreign Black friends who seem
to know more about our history then us. Every Black Person in America should
know what NAACP stands for...that segment was ridiculous!!!! The NAACP is
the pinnicle of Black Freedom.
Perhaps the point of this cartoon
short was to flash us back to a time when black women were being exploited by
white men. Now, in 2007, things obviously have changed to where the black women
are being exploited by black men (rappers) in these videos. The only difference
between women of today and women of slave times is that the slave women had no
other choice but to be used at the white man's discretion. Today black women
have a choice not to appear in demeaning rap videos, but unfortunately they do
it anyway, ignoring the repercussions that may come about. Well, at least this
is the message I got from watching the cartoon.
By Anthony (feel free to place your comment below):
I will make no friends with this post but some parts of black America are trapped in a moral crisis. The crisis will be on display this Wednesday when B.E.T.(Black Entertainment Television) debuts a new show called “We Got To Do Better” which is based off of a website called “Hot Ghetto Mess.” It’s time to stop playing words games and be honest: blacks (and others) who embrace a “ghetto” mentality are in deep trouble and, by extension, so are the rest of us.
The NAACP should be marching against the worldview on display on this show much more than fighting a crusade against the “N-word.”
The Washington Post describes the show:
Since 2004,[Jam Donaldson’s] Web site, http://Hotghettomess.com , has featured a motley assortment of gangbangers, hip-hop poseurs and strutting hoochie mamas, set off by quotes and comments that suggest Donaldson’s disapproval. The featured “Mess of the Month” for June is an unnamed plus-size woman wearing a halter top split almost to her navel. Her accessories are arm and chest tattoos and an oversize necklace with a cross. The caption beneath her photo is a quote from Martin Luther King Jr.:“Nothing in [all] the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
[The show] features video clips of young African Americans (as well as folks of the Caucasianpersuasion) engaged in various acts of idiocy (random street brawls, gratuitous booty-shaking, etc.). It also puts cultural ignorance on display (people are asked in man-on-the-street interviews whether they know what “NAACP” stands for; they don’t). The tone, Donaldson says, is more or less in keeping with the same finger-wagging critique embedded in the Web site’s slogan:“We Got to Do Better.”
I have mixed emotions about the show. But it’s good to expose this for the following reasons:
(1) The shows puts on display for the world to see the moral crisis in some parts of black American culture. Perhaps many in the black community will take notice.
(2) The show will validate the concerns of many blacks like Bill Cosby, Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell, Starr Parker, John McWhorter, Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, LeShawn Barber, Shelby Steele, and others.
(3) The show will expose how the “ghetto mentality” is sabotaging significant portions of American culture, of all races. Perhaps the show will highlight a point made in the movie Forrest Gump,“stupid is as stupid does.”
(4) Hopefully, this will rally some black pastors to deal with issues in the black community instead of building names for themselves and trying to build the largest churches possible. The “ghetto” culture is completely void of any moral voice or authority.
(5) The show will highlight the fact that for much of black America the largest obstacle to overcome in the 21st-century is not racism but the adopted norms of “ghetto” culture.
(6) The “ghetto” life must cease to be glamorized and normalized in the entertainment industry. Sadly, there is a huge demographic of Americans who are medicating their own personal pain through self-sabotaging,“ghetto” behaviors. The show represents a massive cry for help!
The content of the website is pathetic, disturbing, sad, and frustrating. The burning question remains: what must happen to turn blacks, and others, away from “ghetto mess” onto the journey of healing, virtue, dignity, and human flourishing?
WE GOT TO DO
BETTER airs weekdays at 7:30 p.m. (ET/PT) on BET.
"We Got to Do Better" is an entertaining, tongue-in-cheek
examination of the good, the bad and the ugly of Black popular culture.
Utilizing comedy, man-on-the-street interviews, video clips, pictures
and music, “We Got to Do Better” aims to shine a spotlight on
prevalent images in pop culture and examine what role they play in
American lifestyle. “We Got to Do Better” goes where most shows fear
to tread. As host Charlie Murphy guides viewers through shaking booties,
thug life, baby-mama drama and pimped-out high schoolers, “We Got to
Do Better” will explore what these images really mean to all of us.
Cutting edge, original, relevant and irreverent, “We Got to Do
Better” is like the traffic accident you can’t look away from.
Viewers will laugh. They'll cry. They'll think. They'll learn, and
hopefully they'll recognize they've GOT to do better."
Charlie Murphy -- Host, We Got to Do
Comedian Charlie Murphy is the host of BET’s WE
GOT TO DO BETTER, an in-your-face half-hour clip show, whose
real blend of tough love and social commentary challenges and inspires
its viewers to improve themselves and their communities. It’s
original, relevant and irreverent, with the mission of sparking
dialogue, debate and, most importantly, change – because we’ve GOT
to do better.
Not a newcomer, Charlie Murphy has been on this
journey for 17 years, working with actors such as Denzel Washington,
Halle Berry, Eddie Murphy, Danny Aiello, Vanessa Williams, Rip Torn,
Peter Falk, Redd Fox, Angela Bassett, Wesley Snipes, Jamie Foxx, Samuel
Jackson and Sammy Davis, Jr. He became a household name when he joined
the cast of the three-time Emmy-nominated “Chappelle Show” creating
‘Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories.’
Murphy’s current and upcoming films include
“Retirement,” “Unearthed,” a sci-fi horror film, Ben Stiller’s
“Night at the Museum” and his first starring role in “Twist the
Cap.” Murphy and Mike Epps will also co-star in Fox
Searchlight’s “Garbage Men,” a spin-off of “Roll Bounce”.
Charlie also stars in Queen Latifah's "A Perfect Christmas"
alongside Gabrielle Union, Morris Chestnut, Terrance Howard and Faison
Murphy’s features films have included New Line
Cinema’s “Kings Ransom,” Fox Searchlight’s “Roll Bounce,”
Chris Rock’s hip-hop parody classic “CB4”, Spike Lee’s “Jungle
Fever” and “Mo’ Betta Blues,” Eddie Murphy’s “Harlem
Nights” and “Vampire in Brooklyn,” for which Charlie was also
credited as a writer. Murphy's latest writing endeavor, "Norbit"
opened at #1 at the box office.
Murphy’s additional writing credits include a remake
of “The Incredible Shrinking Man” for Imagine and “Paper
Soldiers” for Jay-Z’s Rockafella Films. Most recently, he wrote
“Tales of the Dogg,” an animated pilot for Snoop Dogg and MTV.
Murphy has also been heard on a wide variety of
commercials and other projects including Budweiser radio commercials,
Cartoon Networks’ Adult Swim series “Boondocks,” multiple Boost
Mobile commercials, Rock Star Video Games’ “Grand Theft Auto – San
Andreas” and Marc Ecko’s “Getting Up” video game.
In 2004, Charlie embarked upon a sold-out national
comedy tour, the “I’m Rich Bitch” tour, featuring “Chappelle’s
Show” cast members Donnell Rawlings and Bill Burr. In 2005, his
stand-up career continued to grow with a sold-out follow up tour,
“Charlie Murphy and Friends” as well as a co-headlining tour with
Mike Epps. More recently, Murphy co-headlined on the 20-city
“Maxim/Bud Light Real Men of Comedy Tour” with Joe Rogan and John
Don't miss him in BET's new show, We Got to Do
Better, airing weekdays at 7:30 p.m. (ET/PT).