A day after a nearly 40,000-signature petition pressured the Oxygen network to pull the plug on a reality show chronicling Shawty Lo and the 10 mothers of his 11 children, a supporter is rallying with a petition of her own, arguing that “All My Babies’ Mamas” should air because it’ll show a “father figure” setting an on-air example by taking care of his kids, rather than leaving 10 mothers to fend for their children on welfare.
Even richer: the “supporter” behind the petition is none other than Kali Bowyer, a publicist who, according to TMZ, has an extensive rap sheet and paternity stalked Chris Rock, claiming to any gossip rag that would listen that the comedian fathered her son—until a paternity test proved otherwise.
In a Change.org petition filled with more grammatical errors and half-points than a third-grade English report, Bowyer rides hard for her man: “Shawty Lo, is in fact a father figure that most young black men today coming from a similar past lifestyle and environment, should mimic in his parental role. With 11 children, which are all clothed, fed, housed and loved in everyway that a parent should love, protect and provide for their child. As well as being a supportive and active partner in the co-parenting of his children with their mothers,” she wrote. “Everyone has a past, especially in hip-hop, however how many take the reins and put their life in motion for change?”
Somewhere in there, I think—and I’m being really generous here—she tries to liken “All My Babies’ Mamas” to the stories of struggle relayed in classic hip hop by artists like Grandmaster Flash, Public Enemy and Run DMC, suggesting that the rapper responsible for the groundbreaking songs, “Dey Know” and “Laffy Taffy” is simply giving “poetic voice” to the struggles of black fathers. Bowyer sews up her petition in a neat little package, pointing out that shows on MTV, TLC and Oxygen “showcase polygamy, promiscuity, and alcoholism” by white people with multiple partners and children, and keeping “All My Babies’ Mamas” off the air is… wait for it… racist.
“So here’s the question, would you rather see 11 children struggle with mothers on welfare? Or watch a man support his children? Does it come down to the race card?” Bowyer asks.
This mess right here? This mess right chere? Made me roll my eyes so damn hard I thought they were going to get stuck at the top of my skull.
I mean, I get Bowyer’s passion for black fathers; I love me some black men, too (though I can say I’ve never had any confusion over or illusions about which black man is the father of my kids). And like her, I have absolutely no desire to see children struggling on welfare. I’d like to add that I also have absolutely no desire to see a spotlight shined on a black man so reckless with his body, the emotional well-being of his children, the hearts of women with whom he created life and the image of his community that he would rather splay his dysfunction across the airwaves than go somewhere and take care of his family honestly, sans exploitative cameras following his every move.
Have a stadium of seats, ma’am. For real.
And Oxygen: please don’t let this publicist’s tomfoolery get you confused: more than 37,000 people are ecstatic that you came to your senses and cancelled this mess, but also stand at the ready to bombard every last one of your advertisers with letters, emails and phone calls if “All My Babies’ Mamas” finds its way back onto TV.
1. Shawty Lo Must Go: An Open Letter To Oxygen Media CEO Jason Klarman
2. If We Let Shawty Lo’s Show Get on the Air, We Will Have Failed Ourselves
3. Oxygen Officially Cancels Shawty Lo’s Show; “Amen” to Power of the People