There is a dearth of material criticizing the state of reality television and the depiction of black people on the small screen. BET was once considered the crux of the problem and now, it feels as if VH1 shows, produced by Mona Scott-Young, are the programs everyone loves to hate.
Mona Scott-Young sat down yesterday for an intimate talk as a part of Hello Beautiful‘s new “She Talks” series. She addressed her critics, opened up about her career and even dished inside information on famous rappers she worked with in the past.
Mona raised an interesting point when she spoke about the lack of diversity in programming on television:
“The lack of programming is the lack of consumer base. Are people tuning in? If people spent the time they spent bashing Love & Hip Hop, watching the shows they want, there would be more to watch because of demand.”
BET CEO Debra Lee expressed the same sentiment when the show “Don’t Sleep” performed below the network’s expectations, saying:
“Our audience always says they want this kind of programming, but they don’t show up.”
There are positive shows out there from “Tia & Tamera” to “T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle” but those shows simply don’t draw the kind of viewership that “Love & Hip Hop” does. Mona also expressed she believes there are a lot of “closeted supporters,” and notes that the ratings and demand for the show far outweighs the criticism.
It’s true that networks pay attention to ratings over criticism. Detractors can only make a significant impact when the network is hit in their pockets, whether through low ratings or a lack of sponsors. The same is true for positive shows that don’t get viewers’ support. If people don’t tune in, those shows will not survive. It’s a simple enough concept but some critics haven’t learned they can make a bigger statement by simply turning the channel.
What are your thoughts on Mona’s statement, Clutchettes?