Online petition prompts net to drop spesh

Oxygen has yanked “All My Babies’ Mamas” from its original programming lineup before the special even reached the airwaves after outrage spread online regarding the future one-off’s purported content.

Cabler greenlit development last December on the spesh, which was slated to focus on the familial relationships of a man who fathered children with many different women. Produced by DiGa Vision, “Mamas” was seen as a potential backdoor pilot for the net.

Rumors swirled that Atlanta-based rapper Shawty Lo would be the man featured on the show, along with his 11 children and their 10 respective mothers. Footage of the rapper and his large, blended family surfaced online, sparking outrage from civil-rights groups.

One petition on Change.org from author Sabrina Lamb called for Oxygen to drop the special immediately, and garnered over 37,000 signatures.

An Oxygen rep tells Variety, however, that a deal was never inked with Shawty Lo, and that production was looking at several different families in casting.

Nevertheless, the cabler seems to have taken the outrage to heart, as it announced Tuesday that the show would not move forward.

Oxygen, a NBCUniversal-owned cable net that prides itself on “noisy hooks” in its programming, issued a statement: “As part of our development process, we have reviewed casting and decided not to move forward with the special. We will continue to develop compelling content that resonates with our young female viewers and drives the cultural conversation.”

For Lamb and those who called for the show to be nixed, the cancellation was a victory.

“I am pleased that Oxygen Media has heard the outrage of over 37,000 consumers and shareholders who said, ‘Enough is enough,’” said Lamb. “We will not support any network and advertiser which exploits the plight of children and targets young women with stereotypical, dangerous, unsafe messages.”

Filed Under:

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more