So I finally got around to watching We Got to Do Better, the BET show formally known as Hot Ghetto Mess, which got a title change after a 5,000-name petition went around protesting the show.
Some of the video clips, like the one in the pilot that shows a toothless black man butchering the Star-Spangled Banner, are totally objectionable. It’s Lowest Common Denominat-Humor, laughing at people who are poor, disenfranchised, and possibly mentally ill. The show throws in clips of white people humiliating themselves for “balance,” though that just seems like a panicked network note come to life. “If we make fun of poor white people, then it will all be okay,” is how I imagine that story meeting going.
But there is one notable mess on the show, and that’s Charlie Murphy. He’s stiff and awkward as the host, as though he’s afraid of being at the center of this controversy. Does he remember that brother Eddie picked up a tranny prostitute and still managed to become the star of three children’s movies? He’s also so bug-eyed in the wraparounds that I wonder if a) he has a thyroid problem or b) someone is using really teensy script on the teleprompter to fuck with him.
I can’t help thinking that, if Dave Chappelle hadn’t gone batshit, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. Damn it!
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