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“Up until that point, reality TV on network television had been almost entirely white,” says Jennifer Pozner, a media critic and author of reinforced negative stereotypes of women of color, portraying them as brash, vulgar, and violent.The show emerged during a time when there was a dearth of black programming, after the plethora of ’90s black sitcoms had gone off the air but before the rise of Shonda Rhimes’s black-led hits .
Mix that with the surprise mega-success of Former VH1 president John Sykes has described the network’s first decade of existence as “the bastard stepchild of MTV.” The network was launched by Viacom in 1985 as a free add-on to cable packages that took MTV in a bid to kill off a competing music channel launched by Ted Turner.
Like early MTV, music videos made up the bulk of the channel’s programming, and upstart VJs included Don Imus and Rosie O’Donnell.
Impatient producers even shoved the 2000s retrospective franchise arrived just as home internet access was becoming widespread.
Before the web, pop culture followed a linear trajectory.
How did a channel once synonymous with placid dad-rock become the home for a lurid roster of reality shows, including ? VH1 was an early pioneer in the art of television snark, casting an askance view of the celebrities that were being deified one channel over on MTV in the ’90s and early 2000s.