The past couple of weeks have felt like the reopening of a wound. Coronavirus had become a normal state of life for many people. And amid handling the pandemic, the world was confronted with the heartbreaking news of the death of George Floyd.

George isn’t the first black man to be killed by the police, yet his death sparked a rage stemming from centuries of unaddressed mistreatment of blacks and African American’s everywhere. The combination of Covid-19 and social injustice revealed the world’s unsolved history of racism.

These actions reignited movements such as The Black Lives Matter organization. The Black Lives Matter organization is founded by three black women whose goal is to liberate and empower black people through resources and contributions to society.

So with the world’s morality at the center of attention, many corporations, companies, and television networks decided to publicly take a stand. MTV, as well as many other networks, made an official statement standing in solidarity with the BLM movement and denouncing racism. Various castmates shared their thoughts and personal experiences with racism on tv. This was a time for many people to speak up and use their voices to speak to the situation. Bayleigh Dayton, 27, and her husband Christopher (BB alum) expressed their frustration with fan harassment and racial slurs made towards them throughout their time on television. Dee Nguyen,27, who is a contestant on MTV’s, The Challenge, had come under fire when she made some racially insensitive remarks on Twitter. The show decided to fire her after the comments she made.

As a woman of color, this decision did not make me feel supported. It did not make me feel proud of the network. Dee’s actions were insensitive and wrong. But her firing revealed a deep-rooted problem with the network. Racism and stereotyping have never been okay. If MTV wanted to be allies for the black community they would have made diversity a priority. The priority of the treatment of your castmates of color is not a temporary goal.

As a fan of The Challenge, I have seen the racism and sexism that has been perpetuated by the fans. Let’s be clear, MTV has not done enough to combat racism within their network and on their shows. Firing Dee does not show allegiance with the Black Lives Matter movement. It does show they will do whatever it takes to protect their reputation.

MTV needs to cast more diverse producers, review the editing of their people of color, and make a conscious effort to amplify the voices of women and P.O.C. on their network.

Whether networks are aware they have the power to change the narrative, this situation has exposed many of the network’s flaws.

Seeing the overall solidarity many of the show’s podcasts, and recap shows have had during this time has been nice. I hope that this will be longer than a moment. I am curious to see what the network does going forward. I expect to see change. It is no longer acceptable to overlook the actions of your cast for the sake of ratings. If they do continue to promote racial insensitive behavior, in a desire to create “drama”, then they need to look at the motives behind firing one of their own. Season 36 is crucial for the tone they want to set going forward. Actions speak louder than words. I hope we come together to support the black community and make television and equally safe space for them.

Attached below are links to support black business and places to donate:

https://naacp.org/become-a-member/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/elisabethbrier/2020/06/05/75-black-owned-businesses-to-support/#3ad73f3e3814

https://minnesotafreedomfund.org/