UPN Threatened With Boycott, Network Plans To Give Away 100k Car

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

too much."

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

this show."

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.