Only four days after the debut of UPN’s newest
hit drama series, "Platinum," the non-profit national civil rights
organization Project Islamic H.O.P.E. (Helping Oppressed People Everywhere)
has informed allhiphop.com of a proposed potential boycott of the hip-hop themed
To avoid such action, the organization is demanding
a meeting between the producers of the show and hip-hop community leaders, which
according to Najee Ali, the national director of Project Islamic H.O.P.E., "would
not just be from my organization but would include a committee of hip-hop pioneers,
rappers producers, writers, DJs, and others who have lived in our culture."
Upon meeting with the producers of "Platinum,"
the group will lobby for, "more balance in future episodes," in addition
to the emergence of, "future characters introduced on Platinum similar
to a Mos Def, Talib, Nas, Common, Chuck D, or Paris," says Ali.
Project Islamic H.O.P.E. is leveling these demands
at "Platinum’s" creators due to the show’s apparent caricature of
the hip-hop community. "At this point the writers on Platinum must be on
Bill O’Reilly’s payroll because they are sabotaging the image of hip-hop. Hip-hop
needs a show that could be more entertaining without the predictable, negative
stereotypes we have seen so far," says Ali.
Furthermore, the group believes that the show’s
writing lacks true depth, citing that "not one character in the show does
what they do, for the love of hip-hop culture. Every character has an angle
rooted in personal gain." And as Mr. Ali points out, "the elements
of hip-hop (MC’ing, DJ’ing, B-boy’ing and Graf) have never even been mentioned
Project Islamic H.O.P.E. believes their demands
of the writers of "Platinum" to address these complaints are fair
and reasonable. As Mr. Ali concludes, "we don’t feel as though we’re asking
UPN defended the show in a statement released
earlier today (April 17). "Some of the executive producers, writers, directors
and even stars come from the hip-hop world and know first-hand about this industry,"
the UPN statement said. "It is their experience that they are retelling
in ‘Platinum.’ So, while we respect Mr. Ali’s opinion, we believe our viewers
who are fans of hip-hop music and fans of good television will very much enjoy
The drama about two brothers who run a hip-hop
record label grabbed a 1.7 ratings share with UPN’s key 18-34 demographic, according
to Nielsen Media Research.
The show beat out a re-run of ABC’s legal drama
"The Practice" in the same demographics and trounced a repeat of the
WB Network’s drama "Everwood."
"Platinum" hopes to get a boost from
a new promotion. UPN, working with America Online, Inc. and Maserati, have begun
the UPN Platinum Sweepstakes that features a grand prize 2003 Maserati Coupe
Cambiocorsa worth almost $100,000.
For the next six weeks, UPN will run promos on
air and on UPN.com and AOL.com. Radio ads for the show will promote the sweepstakes,
designed to send people to the above websites to enter the contest. One person
will win the grand prize Italian luxury car.