The Help

This week’s Smackdown goes to the Home Shopping Network for its insensitive stampede of greed over the backs of both African-American civil rights-era maids and present day African-Americans, in a stunningly inappropriate merchandising gimmick called “The Help Collection.”


If you are under the illusion that this bigoted branding bomb is a slap in the face only to African-Americans, take a look at this sampling of reaction from across the racial board…

Salon: “HSN’s Tacky Branding of ‘The Help‘”

BET: “‘The Help’ Inspires HSN Collection – The pieces are attractive, but are they appropriate?

Clutch: “Promotion Fail – HSN (and Carol’s Daughter) For ‘The Help‘” “HSN Makes a Profit Off Villains in ‘The Help‘”


What do you think about the appropriateness of HSN’s ‘The Help‘ collection?


Sylver’s Saturday Smackdown


4 thoughts on “The Help

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  3. Hsn has disappointed me deeply over past 2 years. Their focus on The Help was especially disturbing. Amy Morrison, one of the show hosts commented about how ‘pretty everything was” during that period. She kept smiling and tapping Lisa Price as the hour went on. Lisa’s body language was eloquent. She eventually stated that the people in earlier times did what they had to do so that we could do what we choose to do. I would like to see HSN hire an African-American show host. Customer service has yet to offer a satisfactory answer as to why there are no African-American hosts on the network. During the make-up presentations, we are repeatedly told that “most of us are medium”. They are coming from a very Eurocentric perspective. They have a good number of vendors who are African-American and some people report that this is evidence that HSN is courting Black women. Yes, they do want the dollars. Yes, they have room for improvement and some serious soul-searching. I miss the Classic Luxury line by Terry
    Lewis . I wonder why Antthony has had so very few Today’s Specials in his almost 2 decades at HSN. Also, take a look at the Hello Gorgeous feature on their website. Sometimes you justt need to take a break from all of this. I’m loyal but I have my limits. HSN is certainly not the worst, but there’s room for improvement. I would “love, love, love” to see some changes…time to deliver.

    • Wow. If that’s HSN’s idea of “courting Black women,” they are more clueless than I thought. It always rankles me when I hear anyone speaking to a large, multi-ethnic audience use such terms as, “most of us” in reference to physical appearance. If only from a marketing perspective, they eliminate an entire portion of their audience who does not fit the description. From a consideration perspective, it’s exceptionalist and just plain rude. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about this.

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