Racy MTV Show, Pepsi Super Bowl Ad Stir Audience

Tell Me More host Michel Martin and Producer Lee Hill, the program's "digital media guy," comb through listener feedback to recent conversations heard on the program. This week, hear why one listener disagrees with a recent guest's criticism of President Obama. Also, the audience weighs in on two controversies — a racy new teen program on MTV called "Skins" and a Super Bowl ad that some say was racially insensitive.

Copyright © 2011 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

MICHEL MARTIN, Host:

And now it's time for BackTalk, where we lift the curtain on what's happening in the TELL ME MORE blogosphere and get to hear from you, our listeners. Lee Hill, our digital media guy, is here with me, as he is most Fridays. Hi Lee, what's up?

LEE HILL: Hey, Michel. Well, President Obama spoke to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce this week in an effort to fortify his relationship with the business community. But on Tuesday, we reported how some small-business owners don't think the president is paying attention to their needs. Renee Amoore was part of our conversation, and here's what she had to say about the president's speech.

MARTIN: He's not talking to small businesses. It's all about the big businesses. It's all about who's going to help him. This was all about, OK, 2012 is coming close. I need to make some friends.

HILL: Well, Michel, not everyone agreed with Renee. We received this from Joan(ph), another small-business owner, who posted to our online forum. She writes: I particularly found Ms. Amoore's comments to be spiteful and absurd. The greatest need of small-business owners isn't mentoring, it's business opportunities. And the financial meltdown that has hurt us all wasn't caused by excessive regulation, but by ineffective regulation and greed. As a small- business owner, I was truly offended.

MARTIN: Thank you, Joan.

Lee, this week we also talked about the controversy around the MTV series "Skins." The program follows a group of teens as they navigate sex and teen life and relationships. It's pretty racy stuff, and I think our weekly panel of moms was split on whether they would allow their kids to watch it. We heard from listeners who wrote in, and here's a note from Robin(ph).

S: I really don't believe that a show can make a kid do drugs or go have sex. It might open the world up a bit and open their minds, but it's not going to coerce them. What makes teens rebel is parents that hold them back, parents that won't talk about the real stuff with them, and the friends they hang out with.

Thanks for that, Robin.

W: I'm in my 40s and still find myself astonished at how uptight and conservative my peers have grown, let alone the generation before us - who danced naked at Woodstock and later snorted away at Studio 54. I think parents who go on these crusades to save other people's kids likely have too much time on their hands. As for MTV, they've been pedaling crap for years.

Well. Thanks, Laszlo.

And Lee, what else?

HILL: Well, moving on, here's another controversy folks are talking about: a tough and aggressive black woman taking aim at her man with a can of Pepsi Max, but instead hitting a nearby white woman.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV AD)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

U: Honey. Honey.

(SOUNDBITE OF CAN HITTING PERSON)

U: Sorry. Sorry.

HILL: That was an ad from the Super Bowl that's stirring criticism, particularly among some African-Americans. We discussed the controversy earlier this week. And people say the ad is emasculating while others say it just affirms a stereotype of the angry black woman. Well, of course, our audience weighed in with their feedback.

MARTIN: We are white. I am in my 60s. My immediate reaction was a major cringe. The image of a black woman hitting a blond woman, even by accident, played on a stereotype about black women I found extremely offensive. She also writes, I knew my female friends of color would be terribly offended.

MARTIN: Thank you, Martha. But we also heard from Maurice(ph). He is an African-American male. He says he was fascinated by the controversy, and he writes: I talked to all my black male friends, and they said it was an overreaction by black females. Get over it. And cherish that we can be shown in the mainstream instead of commercials just showing blacks on an NAACP college-fund show or BET. The woman on that Pepsi commercial was beautiful, and was trying to keep her man healthy.

OK. I will have more to say about this in my commentary on Monday, Lee.

HILL: I'm sure you will, Michel.

MARTIN: Yes, I will. Just in time for Valentine's Day, I will have more to say about this. Thank you, Lee.

HILL: Thank you, Michel.

MARTIN: And remember, with TELL ME MORE, the conversation never ends. To tell us more, you can call our comment line at 202-842-3522. Once again, that's 202- 842-3522. Please remember to leave your name. You can also find us on Twitter. Just look for TELL ME MORE, NPR.

Copyright © 2011 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.