Latoya talks to Newsweek about MTV’s Exiled

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

Our favorite editrix drops some knowledge in the latest issue of Newsweek in an article that examines the impact of the MTV reality show “Exiled” — you know, the one that punishes the spoiled kids from “My Sweet Sixteen” by sending them to developing countries?

Here’s what Latoya, as well as Miriam from Feministing, have to say about the show:

Several posters noted that the host families on the show seem like props. “The show falls into the theme of using other countries and cultures as teaching tools for people in the U.S.” says feministing.com blogger Miriam Peres. “These people are being used as a teaching tool for mostly white, privileged girls. Why was this girl honored? Because she stopped crying after a few days? She was offensive. She wasn’t appreciative.”

Latoya Peterson, blogger for Racialicious.com, has a similar objection. “They’re taking these extremely spoiled kids and going, ‘OK, what’s the worst thing we can do to them? Send them to Africa!” she says. “That’s a terrible mind-set to have. It’s the First World balking at the Third World.” But Peterson is encouraged by the kind of comments the show is generating. “For every comment that was like, ‘Aha! They got what they deserved,’ there are a lot of others from people who are hungering for a real, deep conversation.”

Edited to add: Okay, something is sticking out a bit strange to me about my quote, so let me clarify. I generally don’t use the term “third world.” There are a host of reasons why, generally having to deal with colonialist thinking in world trade. So I tend to say “global south” or “developing nations.” Now, I’m not saying I was misquoted, but I think that sentence was shortened, because I do recall running my mouth off to the interviewer for at least twenty minutes. (And I’m sure she had a space limit.) Anyway, if any of my peeps in the global south are reading, I get it y’all. – LDP