Dr Boyce Watkins: Arsenio’s show might have been too black for TV

by / May 31, 2014 Black News, video 21 Comments

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The cancellation of the Arsenio Hall Show was a surprising and revealing reflection on the state of American television.  Dr Boyce Watkins, author of the lecture series “The 8 Principles of Black Male Empowerment,” says that Arsenio’s Show was amazing for the African American community.  He applauds Hall for creating the kind of television that is actually interesting to watch, much better than the other shows on during the same time slot.

Watkins then explains that Hall’s show may have been “too black for TV,” since most of his guests were African American.  Hall also spoke openly about matters that affect the black community, which may turn off a white mainstream audience.  In the video, Dr. Watkins says that Hall’s greatest achievement was to invite Minister Louis Farrakhn on his show 20 years ago, but this may also have been the reason he was removed from the air.

Also, Watkins speaks on Hall’s decision to tell the story of black men, especially for those men who want to be fathers but are not able to see their children.  According to Dr. Watkins, “Everybody is telling the story of the black man except for the black man.”

Do you think that Hall’s show is going to get picked up by any other network, or is it going to be off the air forever?

Watch the video below and tell us what you think.

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21 Comment

  1. Oprah will be able to pick it up for a song! He's already got the big bucks from the major networks and I'm sure he would prefer to stay on the air. I hope he hooks up with O!

  2. I agree with Dr. Watkins in regards to Arsenio. He has helped so many blacks that he had no problem getting guests for his current, soon to be gone, show. His show was one of the so very few avenues for our young talented blacks. I an so fed up with main stream TV that I rather watch raunchy reality shows like Love and Hip Hop and the other new Black shows. Instead of things getting better for blacks in entertainment, its getting worse. Good Luck Arsenio and God Bless.

  3. I hope he gets his show back on another network.

  4. Mr. Hall I think will be back but in a limited market.
    Look the defining demographics are always white America.
    If u fail in attracting this market it is difficult to be successful.

    • “…the defining demographics are always white America.” I beg to differ, because there is an incredible amount of Spanish language programming on cable and broadcast television, and since white America has not become fluent in that language (or any other except English) the argument that white demographics are what really count simply doesn’t apply. Arsenio’s latest show, like the his original one, was simply too much for their racist sensibilities to handle. The truth of the matter is that they are jealous and resentful of black success, yet they love to complain about black people who aren’t successful. The native people of this country already made the astute observation that whites ‘speak with a forked tongue’, as in ‘talking out of both sides’ of their mouths. That’s part of their ‘game’, and it’s time to stop falling for it.

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  6. I’m curious as to why Oprah Winfrey won’t pick it up. …oh wait—–

  7. Many years ago, I thought the Arsenio Hall show was mostly light weight and silly. Since I don’t watch TV anymore or own a TV for that matter, I have not seen his new show, but judging from the comments I read here on this blog, his show has matured into a
    serious substantive forum and I wish him well. However, I notice that African Americans still expect and depend on prevalent media (White dominated media) to get their ideas and culture disseminated to the community. Why do we still depend on their media, when our concentration should be on developing African communications, television, radio, and the internet–and oh, for gods sake, books? Through my study of classical African culture, I have learned that we don’t need them for anything!

  8. I commented on this topic earlier today and what I said was that only way Arsenio Hall Show can survive is if it is picked up by a Black Cable Network like TV One. I agree with Dr. Watkins that Arsenio was too black for mainstream America. However, it was perfect for black America. Therefore, put it on a network that caters to us and it will survive.

  9. I had commented earlier on another posting that I liked the AH show but like Dr. Watkins I thought his previous show and this one was to Afrocentric for white taste! Hall, it seemed, tried to provide a balance between the five (count 'em: 5) late night shows that occasionally had Black guests! Indeed, Arsenio's show was 'too black' and had the nerve to be so openly and I might add, proudly! There is something about Black success that irks the collective consciousness/personality/mind-set of white America! Back in the day when he announced and had the good Minister on his show, I knew right then and there the show was doomed! Hall's bodacious move was seen as an affront to white sensibilities! His current show, even without any so-called 'controversial' guests, was clearly aimed at the African American audience who have been ignored and left out in the cold in late night (not to mention the day time as well)! I suggested in that other post that Hall consider doing a web show which would free him up from any 'responsibility' to cater to a more 'diverse' audience. We are greatly underrepresented in the late night arena and by that I mean 'we ain't there'! I also commented that Hall's new show looked all too much like the original and could have used some 'freshening up' but we all know even that would not have saved his show! The show was about Black people and white america has a very low threshhold for anything that is about us and doesn't include them (even though h e frequently had white guests on the show)! Would BET or TVOne be amenable to airing his show? Couldn't hur to ask!!

  10. Whatever the information, whatever the type of culture it is only partially ours. We have not had a proper culture ever since whites have destroyed our culture the same way they destroy every other culture and the same way they destroy the habitats and lands of every other creature on the planet! We know much of what is hurting us but the main thing which hurts us we hold on to steadfastly. Christianity, God, and Jesus, was never in our culture but many of us are too far gone to realize this! If we can’t even get out of our own way, everything else is moot! Whites know exactly what they have done, and what they are doing. So they have little interest in hearing about it, or trying to make it right. In fact they cannot make it right when they continue to destroy cultures, and plunder lands, and annihilate the peoples of the planet! Arsenio can beef up his show and still most of us will not learn enough to be able to protect us from an Anglo-dominant social structure and people gone berserk (in a nice way) We can’t protect our insane selves from each other, and we sure can’t protect ourselves from insane whites! The only media that means anything to whites is that with very few blacks involved! Blacks, on the other hand, are so self absorbed with trying to assimilate and accumulate that they are unable to see what our real psychological issues pertain to! It’s irony, it’s obtuse, it’s insane, and we are too far gone to see ourselves in the proper perspective or to listen to reason from anyone who isn’t already saying what they think they know or want to hear!

  11. Nah. He was just too cocky this time around. His days are over. He should find something else to do OFFSCREEN.

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  13. Hey, can't a Black owned station, like Bounce TV pick up his show and help him out?

  14. I Really ,Really second the motion, comments by – Mackare Jones below, how can we still be relying on mainstream white media to allow us or not allow us to have show's like the Arsenio Hall show, it's a crying shame. I am also suprised at you Boycee, (excuse my familiarity , but I feel we're friends now as I watch most of your posts 🙂 ), for not pushing the point of self reliance, and less time pondering why any show has been cancelled. Come on Black People we must do better!!

  15. Arsenio's show and the other late night shows are all bad!

  16. You know, it might have been cancelled because we (not me) are too prejudice. Look at the posts we write and we wonder why some white folk are prejudice. Give it up already. The Spanish waking channels are plenty. Give it up and treat everyone the same. Arsenio doesn’t and didn’t 20 years ago. Do you think these white people brought us over on a boat? No. And the White Yankees get flack from us and they are the ones who saved us. Another channel? Come on!

  17. And look how many posts there are on here. I accidentally came across it because I googled Arsenio was too black. Do white people have whitelikemoi websites? And why do most of us speak Ebonics? WE make our lives miserable not them. Most white people don’t have that chip on their shoulder like we do and like we THINK they do. Grow up or you’ll get nowhere. When was the civil war? We want to be equal? Put your guard down.

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