The Internet should’ve never given some folks online petitions. It’s effective to petition Reebok to drop Rick Ross for promoting rape culture or convince First Marblehead Corporation to forgive the loans of a deceased student. But some people are using Change, the White House and other petition platforms for reasons sillier than asking Oxygen not to air “All My Babies Mamas.”
T.R. Mason, a concerned gladiator, has launched a Change petition. She’s urging her fellow “Scandal” viewers to write letters to Anne Sweeney, the president of entertainment for the ABC network. Her argument is it’s time to stop putting “Scandal” on three-week hiatuses and start airing the popular political thriller every Thursday.
Mason writes on her petition:
“There are very few TV shows on prime time television written by, much less starring people of color. The broadcast networks have made great strides in recent years by diversifying the faces we see on prime time TV however there is more that can be done. Putting a show like Scandal on repeated hiatus is a surefire way to lose fans and viewers.
Gladiators/Scandalistas/Scandalists everywhere have not gotten over our initial shock that there will be no Scandal AGAIN for 3 more weeks. Instead of whining and complaining, we are doing something about it! Shonda Rhimes is NOT the reason there’s another hiatus. It’s the TV execs at Disney/ABC Television Group. Let your voices and displeasure be heard by contacting Anne Sweeney, the President of ABC Entertainment.”
In the infamous words of YouTube star Sweet Brown, ain’t nobody got time for that. I’m all for promoting the importance of the democratic process by offering platforms like Change, but some causes aren’t worth the effort. “Scandal” is the most-interesting and addictive show on television, but is its absence worth a petition? No.
ABC is a business. We, the loyal Olivia Pope & Associates gladiators are simply audiences being sold to advertisers. It is strategic to suspend “Scandal” for three weeks. The breaks between episodes increase anticipation, leading to larger viewing audiences. The last “Scandal” hiatus gave the show its largest audience ever. This will be especially important as ABC and the other television networks prepare for “sweeps” month.
You’ll notice a slew of guest-stars and intense plots during several specific times of year. This is due to the Nielsen Soundscan sweep, a time when the company surveys ratings of shows and networks. Sweeps numbers have an impact on advertising rates and a bunch of other television mumbo jumbo. It might also be the reason “Scandal” is returning next April 25, the first day of this quarter’s sweeps.
A petition to persuade television executives to act against their own financial interests may not gain much traction outside of the internet. At least gladiators are expressing their discontent for the lengthy hiatuses. I guess that counts for more than the side-eye most of us are giving.