“Where My Dogs At:” A Misogynistic Misfire Doing Damage in a Blink

mtv dogs.jpgMar. 28, 2015 Almost a decade after I wrote this post, the media messages defiling young girls and particularly young black girls under the ‘satire’ banner continues, despite sheroes and massive movements building positive change.

Unfreakingbelievable. How far we’ve come and how backwards we continue to be gives me great concern for culture credos…It needs called out, loudly. And often. 

Original Post: Sept. 1, 2006 by Amy Jussel

It’s been two months exactly since MTV2 got pounded for airing dehumanizing, misogynistic, racist excrement and trying to pass it off as cartoon satire in the Where My Dogs At? episode titled, “Woofie loves Snoop.”

I’ll muzzle in a minute, since the show is now ‘on hiatus’ and the episode itself has been pulled off the website deemed too controversial to replay, but I’d like to shift this conversation to our nation’s ethics and children. We’re mining ’em for profit. Exploiting them for talent. And polluting them with toxic waste both literally and figuratively.

I’m not a fan of censorship, so I’ll recast this on a more global scale to assess the long term sociological damage to children when this stuff gets produced and perpetuated.

First off, no one’s expecting Masterpiece Theater from MTV…In fact, a sardonic doggie duo with an off-leash attitude doing send-ups of pop culture shallowness and celebrity fixation could be potentially hilarious…give it to Kimmel, Conan, or Colbert. Let ‘em run with it.

But this was not a late night time slot, nor a pithy social satire with racial overtones a la Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, All in the Family, or even Maude or The Jeffersons…

 

…This was divisive racial misogyny masquerading as comedy.

 

MTV dredged the depths of the media sludge pond—unearthing artifacts from rapper Snoop Dogg’s red carpet antics from a few years back where he showed up with two scantily clad women on leashes with neck collars. Even if MTV were truly trying to lampoon his degrading absurdity, airing a supposed “parody” of his obnoxiousness smack dab in the middle of Saturday ‘toon time is unfathomable.

Shaping Youth Board Member, Lisa Fager, Co-founder of Industry Ears, sent me the MTV link shortly after it first aired on 7/1, with no comment other than a few subtle exclamation points…noting the 12:30pm Saturday cartoon timeslot.

Every time I get an e-mail from Lisa, I get that ‘uh-oh’ doomsday feeling I’m about to be disappointed by the human race. And usually I am. But bad news is usually followed by good news, with clips from smart journalists like New York Daily News columnist Stanley Crouch or sound bites from her own press encounters where she’s prone to laser sharp lashings replete with intelligent wit.

So I’m heartened this Snoop cartoon fiasco will not be repeated, but I tell ya, viewing snippets from that show sunk my hope for media sanity and self-rein to ridiculously new lows.

The thought of my daughter channel-surfing on a cartoon Saturday drawn in by the “All Dogs Go To Heaven” style of animation, only to get an eyeful of women being objectified as servile beasts in bikinis, sexualized into mind-bending “pimp-ho” and “bootylicious” porn stereotypes, squatting on all fours, tethered to leashes and defecating on the floor is incomprehensible and clearly beyond belief.

Did I mention the cartoon characters are black, (“Parkay and Marjorie,” no less) and MTV President Christina Norman, (also black) is defending this lump-headed crassness as a TV14-rated social spoof? wth?

Media is quoting public outcry from “black women, watchdog groups, and African-American civil liberty activists.” Um. You saw the blog photo. Ain’t me. I’m not a “prominent black” but you can color me outraged…THEN maybe mainstream media will fire up a new category? Common sense citizen? Thinking human being?

And what was MTV’s motivation?

Were they targeting Saturday morning slackers? The “roll out of bed at the crack of noon from late night partying” crowd? Or perhaps the ipod toting, “nothing amazes us, get over yourself and pass me my comic book and brewski” demographic?

Yes, that was a stereotype. And as Malcolm Gladwell would say…you just blinked. Rapid cognition. A mind jump. The two second conclusion. In the time it took you to read one line down, you received a visual of a stereotype that I set up in seconds.

That’s my point. Media images stick. And they get there in a blink.

In split seconds MTV etched racist cultural caricatures into the souls of a whole new generation…

…17.2 million viewers in the first season to be exact. This is no “oops” moment, folks, this is unconscionable.

If you think kids can keep this damage out of their worldview, think again.

It seeps into their mental relay and sticks in the cracks. Even kids that never watch tv hear the buzz. In a split second that cartoon clip becomes peer pass around and gets very viral, very fast. Right along with the cardboard cutouts of racial characterization.

More? In two weeks CBS will not only embrace racial stereotyping, they’ll SELL it in a desperate attempt to spike their sagging Survivor series with the new fall “Race” edition.

Jeff Probst, Mark Burnett, and of course Rush Limbaugh and all the media pundits will ensure we devolve into barbarism for sport as racial tensions take to the arena for audience rooting…gladiator style.

Perhaps Survivor will have tribal team tees that read “audacter calumnaire semper aliquid haeret,” Latin for “slander boldly, something always sticks.” Nah. Way too highbrow for their audience.

Let’s lead our kids toward a greater good for us all and get the masses onboard. Seems we’re reaching a tipping point of toxicity…

But don’t despair, things can change in a blink.

 

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Comments

  1. salvador prinkle says:

    Too bad you couldn’t do a little research and find out that Snoop Dogg does walk around with women on dog collars. Why is it racist to make fun of Snoop Dogg and not racist for Stanley Crouch to write articles like Why do white women want bigger butts? You and Stanley Crouch or both hypocrites and should be ashamed of yourselves.

  2. I have done plenty of research on Snoop Dogg and his antics, which you might want to take a peek at for your own research edification…His latest venture involving selling out the neighborhood to pimp neon fruit flavored alcopops to young urban kids hits yet another new low http://www.industryears.com/blog/03/18/2011/snoops-choice-to-pimp-poison/ (though the dog collar absurdity has already done plenty of harm)

    And I’ve not made any statements about Stanley Crouch whatsoever, so am not sure where you’re getting your judgmental rant tonality and name-calling rancor, but if you take it down a notch I’ll be glad to engage.

  3. Just googled the article you must be referencing on S.Crouch: http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-12-01/who-wants-a-bigger-butt To me this is more about the appearance cues and cultural credo of a very twisted media dictated pop culture set of preferences, not about ‘racism’ —But for the record, Snoop Dogg’s antics were not about ‘racism’ as much as they were about misogynistic hypersexualized degradation. Bleh.

  4. Salvador Pringle says:

    I was wondering, since you seem to be still having horrifying flashback type nightmares about this program, have you ever seen this episode? Most of the shows critics admit they have never actually watched the show that outraged them so much. If you had, I wonder why you would forget to mention that one of the dogs on the show comments “I find that degrading and I’m a dog” after watching Snoop Dogg. It sounds like the show was saying that Snoop Dogg’s behavior was degrading to women and that’s something that none of the shows critics ever bothered to do after the MTV award show. Look online and you will not read one negative word from Lisa about Snoop treating women like dogs at the MTV awards and remember that the MTV awards was viewed by 10 times as many men, women and children then ever saw “Where My Dogs at? Did you you worry about your daughter viewing that?

  5. salvador pringle says:

    I just had one final word to say about Lisa Fager. If you go to her Facebook page you will see that her favorite TV show is listed as “The Boondocks” (2005). The 2nd episode of “The Boondocks” was called “The Trial of Robert Kelly” and showed a 14 year old black girl being repeatedly urinated on and enjoying it. I watched it on cartoon network last Saturday. This episode originally aired in December of 2005, six months before “Where My Dogs at?” premiered in June of 2006. Lisa Fager vowed to “condemn any program that propagates harmful racist stereotypes and misogynstic images” and she openly lists that as her favorite TV show. I’m sure Lisa will be able to come up with “a simple minded liberal justification for the material”, to quote Stanley Crouch’s classic article “MTV still clueless after all these years”. If you would like to read about Stanley Crouch do a google search on “Stanley Crouch, Hidden Gangsta” by Ta Neshi Coats of the Village Voice. You can’t give any of the people Lisa Fager put out of work their jobs back, but you can spread the word about Lisa, if you want to. Thanks for your time. P.S. The poop gag on “Where my dogs at?” that offended you really did happen on the 2nd season premiere of “Flavor of Love” when a woman named “Somethin” took a dump on Flavor’s floor. The E show “The Soup” made fun of it for years. This aired about a month before it was made fun of on “Where My Dogs at?”

  6. Well, I’m not about to speak for Lisa, or MTV or Stanley Crouch or any other media entity or their alliances/preferences or tastes.

    I’m quite simply a kids advocate/media analyst that found the show misogynistic and degrading. Inappropriate with a capital I and an exclamation mark.

    I’ll be glad to speak for ME and MY pov, but no one else…
    AND…so…with that in mind:

    I’ll just weigh in that if anyone looked at MY Facebook profile, they’d get a good chuckle, as I listed my age as 100 and my ‘likes and favorites’ vacillate (some due to ‘keep em guessing’ mode for media literacy so Zuck can’t make a buck off my backside selling my e-havioral profile and some because I’ve ‘had to like’ certain entities in order to get access to social change voting contests and such (e.g. Pepsi Refresh, Chase Giving, etc)

    Doesn’t mean I ‘like’ (love, favorite, whatever) those corps or their policies, just means I needed to jump through the proper hoop to do a favor for a cause I did believe in. 😉 Now that you mention it, I should probably look at my own and ‘unlike’ some of those, as someone may get the wrong impression…

    Finally, regardless of the context of the satire, we agree to disagree on the appropriateness of airing it for TV-14 audience ESPECIALLY since kids don’t often ‘connect the dots’ with that cultural context in the same manner (and we know TV-14 skews into tweens not teens territory)

    And again, I don’t know about whether Lisa spoke out or not about Snoop and the women in dog collars at the MTV Awards, but I sure as heck did…it was beyond offensive to me and I would’ve given it more ink in a separate post but didn’t want to give it any more ‘play’ in the media…(see “Baiting Outrage: Using Media with Mindfulness, http://shapingyouth.org/?p=14461 )

    MSM has a broken model by elevating the drek for ratings/reality TV style sensationalism vs being part of the solution for positive change…that’s why I won’t ‘play into it’ to boost mainstream media eyeballs for ratings…as is commonly the pundit/talkshow/news magazine ‘way’ to ‘stay competitive’ these days…bleh.

    Amy Jussel recently posted..Girl Caught: New Moon Girls Slams Sexualization of KidsMy Profile

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