“When Rev Run, Tyrese and CBS came to us with the idea of a primetime series we were energized by the chance to bring OWN viewers something fresh and entertainingly real in the ‘love space,'” said Sheri Salata, president, OWN. “We can’t wait to turn them loose – enlightening us all about what makes men tick.”
Really? I am not sure how or why OWN is producing a show about love and relationships with Joseph Simmons and Tyrese Gibson. What makes them experts about loving relationships and men, in general? They seem like celebrities reaching for the spotlight. Didn’t Rev Run have a reality show on MTV (Run’s’ House), a show about home renovation on HGTV and DIY (Rev Run’s Renovation), and a cooking show on the Cooking Channel (Rev Run’s Sunday Suppers)?
Scott Koondel, executive vice president and chief licensing officer for CBS Corp, states:
“Combining the enormous popularity of Tyrese and Rev Run with engaging topics like love and relationships will make a very entertaining hour for viewers.”
It seems like OWN is trying to hook Black female viewers with the same bag of tricks used by others where Black men tell Black women why their relationships fail based on what they do and do not do correctly. Or maybe they are going to do some on-air manhood “Baby Boy” training. Let’s hope that their advice is not based on negative personal experiences, gender stereotypes, insecurities, fear, lack of healing, and emotional hangups. I would much rather see qualified matchmakers explaining their processes and doing their thing. Come on, OWN!
This new show, set to debut in 2016, is clearly entertainment-driven. However, like other venues before it, It may entertain the masses at the expense of Black women, sacrificing the potential of real Black love in the process. It’s surprising that OWN, a network owned and operated by Oprah Winfrey that has quickly established itself as a premier channel that clever mixes both education and entertainment (as KRS One stated, “edutainment”), would produce such as show.
As we mature, we realize that there are no magic books, set of rules, or bag of tricks to healthy love. Getting and keeping good love requires work, awareness, consciousness, strategy, preparation, perseverance, and a little bit of luck thrown in-and love requires full participation by both willing parties. Which makes me wonder: are we at a stage with Black love that our relationships can be simply entertainment where we listen to advice from male celebrities enjoying an income bracket few of us will ever attain or do we need more?