A new reality-TV special being developed for the Oxygen Network tells the story of Atlanta rapper Shawty Lo and his 11 children with 10 different women. But “All My Babies’ Mamas” is creating more anger than excitement, and protest groups have called for the show to be cancelled.
Pre-production clips leaked to YouTube show Shawty Lo, 36, most famous for the song “Laffy Taffy,” referring to his children’s mothers with nicknames like Jealous Baby Mama, Baby Mama from Hell, and Shady Baby Mama. The show also introduces viewers to Lo’s 19-year-old girlfriend.
Change.org is circulating a petition with more than 30,000 signatures that calls the program “an attack not just on African-American parents and children but all parents and children.”
The Parents Television Council has also chimed in, calling the show “grotesquely irresponsible and exploitative.”
“If Oxygen moves forward with the program, we will be contacting every corporate sponsor that buys advertising time on the Oxygen network to hold them accountable as well,” the council said.
The Oxygen Network announced development of the show two weeks ago, saying in a news release that viewers would see “an intimate look at unconventional families with larger than life personalities and real emotional stakes.”
No air date has been set and Oxygen Media told ABCNews.com that the one-hour special is still being casted. As for the clips on YouTube, Oxygen said that video was from a third party and will not be used.
“Oxygen’s one-hour special in development is not meant to be a stereotypical representation of everyday life for any one demographic or cross section of society,” the network said in response to the controversy. “It is a look at one unique family and their complicated, intertwined life. Oxygen Media’s diverse team of creative executives will continue developing the show with this point of view.”
Oxygen Media was launched in 2000 and its programming is geared toward women. Oprah Winfrey was one of the founders of the network, which was purchased by NBCUniversal in 2007.