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 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, 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

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Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable Keanu Reeves John Cho newsflashes.

Latoya Peterson (DC) is the Owner and Editor (not the Founder!) of Racialicious, Arturo García (San Diego) is the Managing Editor, Andrea Plaid (NYC) is the Associate Editor. You can email us at

The founders of Racialicious are Carmen Sognonvi and Jen Chau. They are no longer with the blog. Carmen now runs Urban Martial Arts with her husband and blogs about local business. Jen can still be found at Swirl or on her personal blog. Please do not send them emails here, they are no longer affiliated with this blog.

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