The members of an all-male gay Alabama dance troupe are not surprised at the criticism their reality show has evoked amongst the populace.
The backlash to the April 22 debut of the Prancing Elites' show on Oxygen was swift and unkind.
But the members remain unfazed by the expressions of disapproval.
“Being gay in the South is already hard. So you already know that, doing this, people are going to call you every name in the book,” member Jerel Maddox, 24, told the Daily Beast. “We don’t even feel it.”
The other members -- Adrian Clemons, 23, Kareem Davis and Tim Smith, both 24, and Kentrell Collins, 27 -- all agree.
“We just want to dance, and at the end of the day we’re going to dance anyways whether you like it or not,” Collins said.
Television magnate Oprah Winfrey purposefully premiered the show on Oxygen rather than on her OWN Network precisely due to the backlash she knew would result.
Oprah, one of the original founders of Oxygen, sold the network to NBC, but, like most millionaires would do, she retained stock in the company and is enriched financially from the programming.
Observers noted the plethora of TV promos for the Prancing Elites on OWN Network rather on Oxygen.
Many say the criticism toward the show is well-deserved because Oprah, gay producer/directors Lee Daniels and Tyler Perry, and other high profile homosexuals in Hollywood are engaged in a campaign to destroy the image of the black man.
Dr. Rick Wallace, Ph.D. points out psychologist, Dr. Umar Johnson's assertion that "the vast majority of blacks don’t understand propaganda, because they view most of the mediums" -- reality shows -- as forms of entertainment.
It is no coincidence that the black male image is under assault from two different extremes in the media. There is one extreme that is presenting an image that portrays black males as violent thugs, which enforces the perceived image that black men are born with a proclivity to behave violently and to live a life of crime. The other end of the spectrum presents a non-threatening effeminate black men who lack any threatening characteristics. Although the purpose behind these two different approaches have different secondary motives, the primary motive is the same — to destroy the image of the black man.
The 2nd episode of Prancing elites airs tonight on Oxygen.
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