If you haven’t heard, the Oxygen Network is producing a one-hour reality special entitled “All My Babies’ Mama’s” featuring Atlanta-based rapper, Shorty Lo, along with his 11 children and their 10 moms. Brought to you by the same people behind such shows as “The Jersey Shore”, “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Moms”, this show is sure to follow in its predecessors controversial footsteps. As of now, “All My Babies’ Mama’s” is set to air as a one-time show, but in entertainment circles, is being rumored to be a “backdoor pilot” — the network will see, based on viewership, if a series would be successful. There are many parent/children/family/religious organizations up in arms over this show, citing such things as degrading women, victimizing children, and tearing away at the fiber of family values — but is this the new reality? The powers that be at Oxygen are touting the program as being a special that , ”chronicles the complicated lives of one man, his children’s mamas, and their army of children, capturing the highs and lows of this extreme ‘blended family’ as they navigate their financially and emotionally connected lives.” Sounds innocent enough to me when put like that, but then when you think about the children involved, and how they really have not had a say in ANY of the events leading up to this, it’s a harder call. I have to think that one or some of those 11 children do not agree with their father’s lifestyle or their mother’s life choices. It’s hard not to make a moral judgment about the adults involved in this production, from those behind the scenes to the on-air “talent”, when realistically your are glamorizing one man’s philandering ways and the consequences of his actions. I would like to believe that the producers had this special in mind as a cautionary-tale of sorts, but I had the same hopes of their other shows, especially “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom”, and the fact that so many of those girls have gone on to pseudo-celebrity status illustrates to me that I am only fooling myself. Critics of the show decry the situation as being reprehensible and counter to the ideals of a family unit, but is this so different from what is going on in our society? Families of all races and socio-economic statuses are finding themselves in scenarios not too far off; how many people do you know that have married, had kids, divorced, remarried and have more kids? The only thing different about Shorty Lo’s situation is the process of marrying and divorcing (admittedly with repetition). As for television reality shows that have been met with far less controversy, The Kardashians have a whole lot of the same; from Bruce’s multiple marriages and children, to Kris’, there are 9 children. 2 fewer than Shorty Lo, but 6 moms less. Or take the hit reality show “Sister Wives” — is that any less depraved than what’s going on in the Shorty Lo Clan’s lives. I’d actually make the argument that “Sister Wives” is more perverted. I’m not sure how I feel about the idea of this show. My conservative side tells me this is a bad way to portray a “family unit”; that airing this kind of arrangement will serve to legitimize it and other situations like it. My pragmatic side tells me that this IS society, perhaps a caricature of it, but this is what is going on for many. Maybe this show will provide some guidance for families in similar situations, or like I said before, serve as a cautionary tale to those who may have been flirting with the idea of a very, very, blended family. I know so many decry reality tv as the downfall of society, but is art imitating life, or is life imitating art? What are your thoughts?