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Monday, August 27, 2007

Television: BET -- is their satire racist?

As The New York Times reports today (registration required) BET has a new set of animated promotions that bring to mind MTV in it's late 80's heyday of mixing music video programming with self-referential and sometimes even avant-garde promos. The question being raised is whether the satire "Read a Book" is racist? I'll let you see for yourselves.

BET is also airing the very powerful "Bid 'Em In", which acts as straight commentary. "Bid" is barely present on YouTube unlike "Read a Book". Here's a decent home recording:

I think they are both really thoughtful and wonderfully animated. I can see why some people object to "Read a Book" but I think the slap in the face nature of it is what makes it work. The commentary on the imagery and iconography in today's hip-hop is trenchant. Let me know what you think.

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