The Boondocks Attacks BET: A Conspiracy Theory

March 24, 2008

in Television

The Boondocks, one of the more controversial animated series of the past few years has produced two episodes attacking your favorite TV network: BET. Both episodes appear in full below. Please beware of harsh language.


“The Huey Freeman Hunger Strike”


“The Ruckus Reality Show”

Comments:

  • I like Dr. Leevil, even if I am not supposed to.
  • I am amused by Tavis Smiley’s cameo. Highly amused.
  • I think Aaron McGruder is getting close to Dave Chappelle dangerousness, in terms of content. Not like that’s a bad thing.
  • I love to hate Uncle Ruckus.
  • Word on the street is that BET asked Turner Cable (Cartoon Network owner) not to air the episodes because it reflects poorly on the network. Turner Cable denies this, and I can’t find anything substantial to refute their claim.  Sounds like a rumor to me.

Questions:

  • What happened? I’m not quick to believe this ‘BET shutdown’ rumor. That would give too much credit to BET. BET can shut down the Cartoon Network but they can’t shut down Canada? Somebody else had a change of heart somewhere.
  • Why is Reggie Hudlin (President of Entertainment at BET) credited as
    Executive Producer of the show if he is depicted poorly in the
    episodes? Is he not an EP anymore? If he is still EP, did he sign off
    on this?
  • The network produces not one but two episodes making fun of BET and nobody says anything about it until it’s time to air? The second episode is dirty with lower thirds, which seems like it went pretty far down the chain before somebody pulled the plug. I don’t know, I just don’t see The Boondocks spending money to produce two episodes knowing they wouldn’t make it to air. Controversial content isn’t supposed to make it to final production, it  gets stopped earlier in the process. I know these are the same people who had MLK saying the N-word last season, but still.
  • Speaking of that MLK episode, what is with this protection of BET? We can’t save Martin Luther King from The Boondocks, but doggone it if BET is sacred. Perhaps we need to look at Turner Cable a little sideways, hmm?

Stuff isn’t adding up here. *rubs chin*

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Herb March 24, 2008 at 10:52 PM

Re Reggie Hudlin – there was an interview with Aaron McGruder a while back where he said that Hudlin isn’t connected with the show anymore. Hudlin gets an EP credit because of contract terms dating back to an early pilot but he hasn’t worked on this series at all.

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Liz March 24, 2008 at 10:59 PM

Thanks Herb. I had heard something along those lines but didn’t catch the reason with the title.
Hmmm…

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Ray A. March 25, 2008 at 7:29 AM

Thanks for posting this.

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Hannibal Tabu March 25, 2008 at 7:39 AM

The reason is simple. Produce the two episodes, making certain that people hear about them. Spread a rumor that they’re “too much” for BET. Release them digitally and plan to include them on the DVD.
Hucksterism. Mark Millar did it and made a whole movie based on it. It’s just the sort of PT Barnum-esque drama that many people more interested in sensation than creation do. Aaron has gone past Chappelle-ism and is working on being a character in Bamboozled.

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Liz March 25, 2008 at 12:12 PM

@Ray thanks for dropping by!
@Hannibal: I think that sounds like a good backup plan, but not necessarily A Game. A Game is typically to produce and get it up to air. I’m beginning to think the MLK situation is an interesting comparison. Cartoon Network came out and stood tall against the likes of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson in favor of that episode. But this time around, it sounds like they backed down at the last minute, and now mum is the word?

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Money Train April 6, 2008 at 4:05 AM

Liz,
You guys are missing the whole point with Turner not showing the Boondocks Bashing BET episodes. There are two primary reasons. 1st, TBS is making a killing off of Tyler Perry’s House of Payene. Every week since it premiered it has regularly been the #1 or #2 cable show in black households. House of Payne is a super hit. And no one at Turner wants blogs, like this one, black activists, black reporters, etc,. demanding that Turner stop attacking BET with its late night black cartoon show.
Turner spent $100 Million to buy an all black sitcom without any name stars and that investment has been a blessing to TBS and Turner. No one is going to blow a year of intense promotion in urban cities and goodwill with black families to actively promote a cartoon about how BET and its black execs are a joke.
Everybody black with a brain knows BET sucks, but that does not mean they want a major white network, who is profiting off of black consumer dollars, to tell them what they already know and do not really care about.
And To be honest the majority of the black critics, like Aaron McGruder, who want BET to change the most and show innovative and intellectual programming would be still be having fits knowing that the vast majority of black America right now loves to watch mentally challenged shows like House of Payne, Flavor of Love 3 and pro wrestling.
The second reason why Turner is not going to blast BET is because they have spent a considerable amount of time last year producing CNN specials about the negative effects of Hip-Hop. Paula Zahn and Anderson Cooper explored every which way how sexy video girls and gangsta rappers were harming the impressionable minds America’s youth in the hood and the burbs.
But what CNN did not report is that any suburban white kid watching a season of The Boondocks has seen more negative black sterotypes like Uncle Ruckus’s “Why I hate black rants”–even if they are funny and thought provoking–and heard Nigga more times than any reality show or music videos shown on BET.
Turner has spent too much pretending to be a responsible network for discussing the sins and faults of Hip-Hop. And Turner is determined to spend even more to be the #1 cable network for black households and advertisers targeting blacks. Too much is at stake for Turner to blow it by openly endorsing Aaron McGruder’s personal war with BET and its execs…Money out.

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Money Train April 6, 2008 at 4:08 AM

Liz,
You guys are missing the whole point with Turner not showing the Boondocks Bashing BET episodes. There are two primary reasons. 1st, TBS is making a killing off of Tyler Perry’s House of Payne. Every week since it premiered it has regularly been the #1 or #2 cable show in black households. House of Payne is a super hit. And no one at Turner wants blogs, like this one, black activists, black reporters, etc,. demanding that Turner stop attacking BET with its late night black cartoon show.
Turner spent $100 Million to buy an all black sitcom without any name stars and that investment has been a blessing to TBS and Turner. No one is going to blow a year of intense promotion in urban cities and goodwill with black families to actively promote a cartoon about how BET and its black execs are a joke.
Everybody black with a brain knows BET sucks, but that does not mean they want a major white network, who is profiting off of black consumer dollars, to tell them what they already know and do not really care about.
And To be honest the majority of the black critics, like Aaron McGruder, who want BET to change the most and show innovative and intellectual programming would be still be having fits knowing that the vast majority of black America right now loves to watch mentally challenged shows like House of Payne, Flavor of Love 3 and pro wrestling.
The second reason why Turner is not going to blast BET is because they have spent a considerable amount of time last year producing CNN specials about the negative effects of Hip-Hop. Paula Zahn and Anderson Cooper explored every which way how sexy video girls and gangsta rappers were harming the impressionable minds America’s youth in the hood and the burbs.
But what CNN did not report is that any suburban white kid watching a season of The Boondocks has seen more negative black stereotypes like Uncle Ruckus’s “Why I hate black rants”–even if they are funny and thought provoking–and heard Nigga more times than any reality show or music videos shown on BET.
Turner has spent too much pretending to be a responsible network for discussing the sins and faults of Hip-Hop. And Turner is determined to spend even more to be the #1 cable network for black households and advertisers targeting blacks. Too much is at stake for Turner to blow it by openly endorsing Aaron McGruder’s personal war with BET and its execs…Money out.

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jp June 23, 2008 at 8:08 PM

we all love the boondocks i came on this site to stop yall from shut it down thats why its on adult swim.south park is a bad show . Its funny and the boondocks is great. Now will yall stop and and show back on . Thank You!! If u dont want to hear the N word just dont watch!!!! I speak for everybody!!!

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Gain May 9, 2009 at 12:00 AM

They’re just entertainment. I agree with the above mentioned. But please, I’m mexican. I still can laugh at “Spic” jokes. So, why not just take the power away from any racial slur said to us.

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Anthony December 7, 2009 at 4:39 PM

To Gain
Look, I laugh at the Boondocks, but I have a problem with other races watching my race make a fool out of themselves. Take George Lopez, or Gabrielle Inglasias (sp), if they put a show on Telemundo or even Cartoon network, in which they used really sensitive Mexican / Hispanic stereotypes, I know for a fact that your community would be in an uproar. This is the problem I have with my community, is that it allows our people to be shown in such an ignorant state. Yeah, the creator does bash everyone, but our ignorance is at the forefront.

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Liz December 7, 2009 at 4:47 PM

@Anthony,
Thanks for your comment. I definitely see your point, and think this is similar to what Dave Chappelle realized about his own show….which eventually led to his abrupt demise. It’s tough. At times I appreciate The Boondocks for calling things out that need to be called out, but I think it risks falling on deaf ears. Perhaps it’s too deep for everyone to fully grasp as the artist intended.

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