BET's 'Mess' makes 'Better' move

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BET is scrapping the name of a new TV series, the network said Monday.

Originally titled "Hot Ghetto Mess," the series has been rechristened "We Got to Do Better." The program, which premieres Wednesday, spurred a few advertisers to pull out over mounting criticism that its content perpetuated racial stereotypes (HR 7/10).

"We've decided to change the name because we want to highlight the show's real intent, which is to offer social commentary in a context that sparks dialogue, debate and, most importantly, change," the network said.

The new title is derived from the motto of the Web site that inspired the series, HotGhettoMess.com. Its creator, Jam Donaldson, who also is an executive producer on "Better," maintains that the intent of the site and TV series has been misunderstood; their collection of images depicting blacks in unflattering poses is meant not for ridicule but to question community standards.

Sources indicated that State Farm Insurance Cos. and Home Depot were the advertisers who requested that their ads be yanked from the premiere episode of the series as well as from the site.
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