To the Editor:
Re “Mr. Bad Taste Saves VH1” [Oct. 29]:
The Observer is somehow flummoxed by the success of highbrow Michael Hirschorn in the lowbrow environs of VH1.
Maybe it’s because Gen X likes its nostalgia served with irony. Maybe it’s because Hirschorn delivers “glamour and depravity,” and, on the advice of Brian Graden, scoured the landscape for the “aberrant.”
Here’s another theory: Michael Hirschorn won at VH1 because he introduced African-American talent to a channel whose programming was previously mostly white: Flavor Flav, Salt’n’Pepa, Irv Gotti, the Ego Trip posse, the annual Hip Hop Honors Award Show, and And You Don’t Stop: 30 Years of Hip-Hop, a five-part documentary series of which I was the writer and producer.
In his own attempt to plumb the mystery of his success, Mr. Hirschorn himself notes that “reality shows … often dare to touch ‘third rail’ issues, such as race and class.”
Funny that such issues never crossed the minds of the super-smart people interviewed for a media news piece in The Observer.