There might be a cover-up going on with regard to those supposedly censored episodes of The Boondocks, but damn it if I can’t bring myself to give a shit one way or the other.
Part of the problem is that I could generally give a rat’s ass about cartoons. I was a big fan of Beavis and Butthead back in the day, but that’s about it. I never did get into South Park. And I’ve hardly ever seen anything that comes on Cartoon Network, except maybe once or twice when I was having some issues… you know, moving from the sofa and/or finding the remote.
I’ve been meaning to check out The Boondocks for the past couple of years though, because I know it supposedly deals with a lot of the issues that I personally find amusing. I just haven’t gotten around to it. So I’ve yet to actually see the episodes in question, though I heard they were briefly posted to YouTube before being taken down; and my guess is that you could probably find them on some of these ghetto sites that “sample” content from YouTube and various sites from around the Internets.
Also, I’ve grown a bit tired of the BET-bashing in the past year so, even though I’ll admit I’ve been guilty of it myself from time to time. Not that I hold BET in very high esteem, or that I would even know what comes on BET post, say, 1993, but I wonder if BET isn’t a victim of the audience that it caters to. In other words, is the content on BET so retarded because that’s the best its executives are capable of? Or is the content on BET so retarded because, come on, it’s the black station. It’s gonna have to be retarded, if anyone’s gonna watch it.
Take for example the fact that The Boondocks itself is not on BET, but rather on the Cartoon Network, where it’s probably mostly viewed by a buncha pot-smoking college-age crackety-cracks. (Though for all we know, all of these stations might be owned by the same secret cabal of tall Israelis.) This despite the fact that The Boondocks is produced by Reginald Hudlin, who’s supposedly mocked rather severely in these episodes. So it’s not like there would have been a problem getting a show like The Boondocks in the door over at BET. The problem is, who would have watched it?
In a story on the supposed censorship the other day at AdAge, it’s mentioned that BET has been losing viewership to some of these other cable networks, which have expanded into lowbrow black reality fare – like VH1 with its Flavor Flav minstrel programs, and which ever one of these networks was running that Bobby Brown series. Which, on the one hand, would suggest that an emphasis on reality programming wasn’t a very effective tack by the execs at BET; but on the other hand, it would lend credence to my theory that black folks still crave ignorance, regardless of who’s serving it up.
The story at AdAge doesn’t get into the continuing protests against BET and its parent company Viacom by a group of black religious freaks calling itself the Enough Is Enough campaign, but that’s definitely another reason I’d have a hard time aligning myself with any anti-BET movement. While these people cry out for more diversity amongst the network’s lineup of programs, it’s obvious their real goal is to make the network more palatable to a relative minority of Christian supremacists. If half the time you turn on BET these days they’re showing these god-awful reality shows, and the other half the time it’s religious BS, I’d say they’ve already achieved diversity.
Of course these people seem especially incensed with the sexual content of some of the videos shown on the network, but my question to them is this: In an age when the state of romantic dysfunction in the black community may have finally thrown the entire economy – not just hip-hop – into a recession, is our main problem really the fact people do want to look at a black woman’s ass? If anything we might need to see about getting BET Uncut back on the air, for the sake of the American republic. (Yep, I’m drawing a connection to the sub-prime lending crisis.)
Finally, it’s been suggested that this might all be some brilliant viral marketing attempt on the part of the show’s creator, Aaron McGruder. I supposed it’s worked, in the sense that here I am writing about it, regardless of whether that was his intention; but I’d be wary of giving him too much credit either way, if all he’s gonna do is float the idea that there may or may not have been some shenanigans going on. If he already had the sheer balls to go at his own boss like that, how come he’s yet to offer a satisfying explanation as to what really went down?
My guess is that a few phone calls may have been made.