50 Cent is often embroiled in battles of his choosing. While some of these dust-ups are well-planned skirmishes with rap rivals, others are smartly provocative shots aimed at his other opponents in business, like his IG complaint to the cable provider who may not air the channel with his show “Power.” Said 50:
Man Im sorry I have to say this, but AT&T is racist they have had issues in the past and here we go again. 500,000 homes will not be able to view the next episode of POWER
He also included this post, as further evidence of AT&T officials having a history of prejudiced comments:
It’s hard to tell whether what 50 declares is part-gambit at any given time. He’s been known to stoke the fires of controversy when there’s little kindling to speak of. In this case, 50 detailed the shifts taking place at AT&T that might spell doom for channels like Starz, which tends to broadcast content with more faces of color under the broad label “urban”:
Change your cable package from AT&T to anything else,” he typed. “It’s 2015 and these people are still racist. They are dropping all channels that are considered urban friendly. This sh!t is sad…If your a fan of POWER and you have AT&T as a cable carrier, you will no longer see it. Switch to Anything but AT&T…I felt like I was doing something with POWER,making film a television under stand people of other ethnicity’s can create projects that every one enjoys AT&T just set me back 500,000 viewers SMH…AT&T & Direct TV merger is in the government regulatory’s hand. The biggest telecom tv deal in history, they can’t be trusted not to bully the networks. The deal hasn’t happened yet and they already pushing the limits! With racist in charge we are going to be set back…It’s just a set back to the 500,000 AT&T viewers that won’t see POWER next week. It’s AT&T’s fault. The show is great you will hear about it.
As the genre lines that define “urban” content continue to change, 50 and others are vocal about keeping the hard-earned representation among cable watchers that’s essential to survival. If 50’s Instagram page is any marker, he’s greatly concerned about his ability to advertise a slew of products to the urban audience, including his SMS headphone company and Effen Vodka.
But these cable deals are far from guaranteed as they head into renewal, with legacy cable companies looking to compete with digital streaming services like Netflix, which attract new subscribers in droves. In fact, AT&T is in the middle of negotiating its merger with DirecTV as it reconsiders the importance of Starz, with some key benefits to keeping the network around:
The drama ‘Power’ is in its second season, drawing more than 6 million viewers per episode. The show performs well among African American viewers, attracting more black viewers than any other scripted program on a premium cable channel in nearly a decade.
Power is one bright spot for an otherwise limited network, and 50 is not going down without a fight, his trump card a loyal following in a coveted demographic. The Power story certainly relates to issues of racial representation in broader television… how valuable diversity is, on one hand; what networks will prioritize it in the future, on the other hand.
Beyond that, the struggles of Power to gain its rightful place mirror the struggle of 50 Cent to get out from under a reputation of recent losses in big areas. If Power falls, and Empire rises, his earlier shots at the Fox show will look like more desperation from the Jackson parade. And no one wants that.
Got the drop at Smoking Section . . .