Thursday, January 20, 2011
BP Gives Bx. Cheer to American Idol -- But is It Warranted? UPDATE
As reported by Celeste Katz at the Daily News, BP Ruben Diaz, Jr. is out with a press release criticizing American Idol for its negative depiction of the Bronx when profiling a 16 year old contestant. Diaz says, "Rather than focus on the amazing revitalization the Bronx has seen over the past three decades, the producers of the show chose instead to highlight the negative stereotypes that have plagued our borough for years." No doubt that to some extent Diaz is correct. The Bronx is almost always depicted on TV as a crime-ridden wasteland. But if you watch the video above, they are actually following this contestant's narrative, and it's pretty negative. His family has been in a shelter and he has seen some bad things. It would be hard for them to spin it any other way (although I am sure they are more than happy to play right along with this stereotype of the Bronx). So in this instance, it may be an over-reaction by Diaz, but good to see him sticking up for the borough's image and there are certainly way too many times when the Boogiedowner should get better coverage so we are probably owed this one. UPDATE: After criticizing American Idol for its negative portrayal of the Bronx, we now have Diaz in the Daily News describing gun violence in the Bronx as an "epidemic." Makes it harder to complain about our negative portrayal by Hollywood and the media while we have a gun violence "epidemic" going on. Here is an article in the NY Post by Gerson Borrero that says the BP is missing the point in attacking this contestant. Borrero says, "The truth is that if the producers of "American Idol" really wanted to malign The Bronx they could have mentioned that the county leads New York City in unemployment rates. They could have also reported that out of the 536 murders committed in 2010 in all of New York City, 127 took place in The Bronx."