I love Jersey Shore. I love the dumbness of Ronnie the sluttinest of JWoww, the ego of the Situation, and the thick girl sexiness of Snookie. I enjoy watching as they all get drunk, get laid, and argue in stereotypical fashion. It’s like a night at one of my favorite white boy bars in South Philly. But as I watched last season, I would often think, it’s truly 2010 and white people are just as niggerish as Black people. But the thing about Jersey Shore is that it could never be done with Black people. You couldn’t move this show to Atlantic City and put 8 black people in the house. I mean you could, but it would never make it to TV. Instead of Proud Guido’s or Guidett’s talking about tanning, hitting the gym, and fist-pumping you’d have someone saying “Yeah I’m proud to be nigga, ya heard me? Smoke tree, play x-box, fuck bitches, ya heard me? I ain’t going to no beach, fam, goons don’t swim”
I often hear people say, no one wants to watch shows about Black People, meaning Middle America isn’t into it. Which may be true. While VH1 “of love” shows are a staple of Black culture, it was Rock Of Love that had mainstream audiences talking. You would hear Ryan Seacrest recap it on his national radio show, E would cover the girls in depth, People Magazine, US Weekly, they all were talking about this raunchy show that was so bad it was good. NEVER did I see anyone talk about Flavor of Love, Ray-J, or Real/Chance like this. Sure my Black friends did, Black websites did, but hoes like Hotwings and Deelishes were never invited on Jimmy Kimmel. It’s clear that American media is white ran, and white fueled, and thus Black Reality TV, while it nets enough eyes to make money for lesser networks like VH1, will never be as big as White Reality TV. I mean, Tiny and Toya on the cover of Entertainment Weekly? Doubtful.
So why would millions of people across the country rather watch a group of Italian goofballs instead of a house of Black goofballs. Despite one semi-racist argument from my homeboy who said “black girls aren’t as attractive as Italian girls“, I don’t think fuckability is a factor at all, you can fine an attractive person of any race to throw on these shows. I think white women would be just as attracted to David “Punk” Otunga from I love New York as they would be to Pauly D. To me, It’s the OMG factor. When you see Snookie take her panties off in the hot tub, it’s like oh my god. When Ronnie knocks someone out “one hit kid” in the middle of the street it’s like, oh my god. It’s shocking to white America but cool, because now Little Jimmy wants to tan and get 6-pack abs. To the older White adults these kids who look the same as their cousins, son, sisters, etc.. doing these wild and rowdy things is jaw dropping. People in Buttfuck Utah or WhereAmI Idaho don’t get to see shit like this. For people in larger cities who go clubbing, white people getting drunk and acting a fool is normal. But let’s remember most of the country is made of suburbs and rural communities.
When you get Black people on TV doing the same thing as Ronnie and Snookie, there is no OMG factor. It’s just niggas being niggas. Oh they’re fighting again—typical. Oh she’s having sex—typical. It’s expected for us to act that way when we’re out drinking. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and the rest of the cabal have tried hard to get those images out of the minds of white America, so a show a Black Jersey Shore would be bashed for being stereotypical and exploitive before it even aired.
Me and my friends use to joke that they should make a Real World Bmore or a Real World Compton. Take it from the mansions to the hood. Or have one year on Real World where most of the cast is Black, with one token White person. It was fun to joke about back then, but even without knowing, we knew that would NEVER happen. These networks are deathly afraid of isolating their Middle America apple pie audience. ABC will never have a Black bachelor on The Bachelor, and MTV will never do a Black Real World, it’s just not in their business model. As much as I think My Life As Liz re-imagined as My Life As LaKeisha is a good idea, maybe America isn’t ready.
I accept all of this, and I’m perfectly happy watching Chad Ochocinco walk around the field telling gold diggers “Sorry baby, but you’re cut”. But isn’t that more exploitive than putting young Black people in a house and letting them be themselves? Just saying?
The Bad Girls Club is one of my favorite shows, I’ll admit it. But I GURANTEE that the bad girls club will cut down on the amount of Black cast members next season. Just like MTV’s Taking the Stage got rid of all but two Black people when it returned for a 2nd season. It’s like when a Night Club has hip-hop night one night out of the week and the goons come out. Next week they change the dress code. Goons still come. Week after that they change the music, Goons still come. Finally they shut the club down, change the name, and that’s the end of that experiment. Reality TV is that club. That’s a polite way of saying: No Black People Allowed.