Tuesday, October 21, 2008

News! - MTV will not air reality show Model Makers

As some of you may be aware, MTV was involved with a
new "reality" program entitled "Model Makers." The show aimed to take
15 young women between the ages of 17 and 24 and turn them into high fashion models by forcing them to lose weight. Sounds disturbing doesn't it?
It's actually worse than it sounds! The website for the site itself
pulled no punches in its description of the program which "dares to go
where no modeling show has gone before":

"Have you always wanted to model but don't know where to start? Maybe
you don't know the right people. Maybe you are not thin enough. Women
come in all shapes and sizes, but models don't."

Read it for yourself here!

A lot of words popped into my head when I found out about MTV's plans
to broadcast such filth: Disappointment, Disgust, Anger - to name but
a few. For two months I blogged about the deleterious effects of the show in blogs like this.

I even took it upon myself to write an open letter to MTV on
behalf of teenage women on my October 6th Huffington Post blog.

Huffington Post article

In my letter, which I know many of you read, I warned MTV of the
dangers of promoting such a careless and destructive message. A
message that has become almost pervasive these days and leads to
millions of unnecessary eating disorders.
How many millions of young girls everywhere would be negatively
affected by the ludicrous premise of the show: A beautiful woman = A
very thin woman. None, if I could help it.

Recently I was on CNN News talking about the show and the potential dangers. I encouraged all of you to write MTV and a lot of you did!

I have tons of letters from mothers and teenagers themselves that were sent to MTV, letting them know that this kind of programming would not be tolerated.

I had even come up with a great idea. On the first night of "Model Makeovers," airing, whenever that was, I was going to have all of you across the country interview every teenager that you could find with your video cameras and cell phones, having them tell us in their own words what they thought of the show.

I was then going to take the footage and turn it into a documentary, entering it into film festivals and theaters across the country. The name of the documentary was going to be called "MTV, look at what you done to be." Catchy title!

I called MTV today to find out when they had planned on airing the show and they said, "We no longer plan on airing "Model Makers."

WOW! My first thought was the American public is awesome. When you decide that you've had enough, you can move mountains.

Speaking of which, I have a tree outside that I can't quite dig up, why don't the thousands of you come on over, so we can talk about it.

Seriously, I'm so proud of every person and every organization out there that voiced a complaint. From the bottom of my heart, if I could afford it, I would treat all of you to a taco and a glass of tap water. I'm sure you'd rather have juice or soda, but it has too much sugar in it. Hey, just trying to do my part!

I take no personal credit for "Model Makers," not being released. The credit is all yours. Every person and every organization. I'm just one guy, trying to make a difference. It's all of you collectively that have the powerful voice.

For all I know, someone at MTV decided the show was ill-conceived. What's important here is that the show doesn't see light of day, not who's responsible.

This is a step in the right direction for millions of
teenage girls everywhere!

To teenagers across America,

I want to say that we love you!
You're beautiful, exactly the way that you are!

And thank you MTV. You did the right thing. If this show not airing creates an extra half-hour in your schedule, call me. I have plenty of show ideas.

Darryl Roberts
"America the Beautiful"

Thursday, October 9, 2008

'America The Beautiful' - Huffington Post #2 / Atlanta-Charlotte

Let me start off by saying that I missed all of you the past 3 weeks. Sometimes vacations can be overrated because you lose touch with so many people. That being said, I'm re-energized and ready to continue spreading this message to all that will listen.


- My Huffington Post letter to MTV
- New, updated cities
- Honolulu News
- New item "Beautiful Person of the Week"


In a last ditch effort, I decided to write a letter and appeal to MTV to cancel their new show "Model Makers." I did it in the form of an open letter in my Huffington Post column. I figured since millions read The Huffington Post, I would be able to pick up a few extra warriors along the way.

Feel free to write a letter to MTV or it's parent company Viacom yourself. If you're not the letter writing type, feel free to forward my email to someone at MTV. Either way, we have to do something. Teenage girls are counting on us.

Click here to read my Huffington Post letter to MTV:
Huffington Post MTV Letter


As I write this, I'm sitting on the balcony of my hotel in Honolulu. I can see the water right below me.

You must be thinking, "man, he's having tons of fun." Let me put this in perspective for you. The Honolulu Academy of Arts saw my film somehow and invited me to their prestigious film screening series called "Friends of Film Friday."  Every Friday for 15 weeks in a row, they'll showcase the best (their words, not mine) films from all over the world. We were chosen to kick off the 2008/2009 series which starts this Friday October 10th at the Doris Duke Theatre.

I got an email from the curator of the Honolulu Academy of Arts, Gina Caruso, saying "it would be thrilling if you'd come and speak to the Honolulu community after we show your film." Gina seemed like a really nice woman and I read on the internet that the series is sponsored by Louis Vuitton, so I said yes.  I was thinking maybe ol' Louie would throw in a wallet or handbag.

Gina Caruso and I at Honolulu Public Radio

  OK. This is where things got to be not so enjoyable. I have to confess, that I have a terrible condition that I call "are we about to crash."  Everytime I'm on a plane, that's all I think about. It's absolutely brutal. The flight here was 9 hours and I can only describe it as being worse than "Chinese Water Torture." 

Landing would have been pure ectasy if it wasn't for the fact that I still have the return portion of the trip to contend with. Actually I'm proud of myself, because I thought I wouldn't be able to do it at all. I thought about not going at least 27 times. But I knew that I had to because Gina was soooo nice. And it is pretty picturesque.

The people here in Honolulu are very earthy and in touch with nature. I went to a restaurant and birds would fly onto the tables where people were eating and join in. That's right! A bird started eating out of a man's plate and he kept eating right along with the bird. I saw this happen at several tables. My first thought was "wow, I want to be deep like that."

I ordered shrimp from this particular restaurant and sure nuff, a bird landed to take one of my shrimp.

I swear this was pure reflex. I swung so hard to shoo the bird from my shrimp that by the time it had regained balance, it was all the way across the street.

Ooops! I didn't mean to do that. I felt like one of those unexposed Americans that had never been anywhere. Since everyone at the restaurant was giving me the evil eye, I asked for my shrimp to go, and ate them as I drove back to the hotel. I was seriously wondering, why didn't I let the bird nibble out of my plate with me. What did the residents of Hawaii know that I hadn't discovered yet? This was so normal for them.

While driving, I was feeling like a neanderthal. To purge myself of those feelings and get some culture, I went to the Honolulu Aquarium.

When I left, I felt human again.

I will send you pictures from tomorrow's screening here in Honolulu as I'm sure it's going to be awesome. Then on Saturday as you're enjoying your day, send out a prayer for me. I'll be on a Boeing 777 feeling the pain.


If you know anyone in any of these cities where the film is opening, feel free to spread the word and encourage them to support the film. I have an army of organizations across the country that have signed on to be a part of my marketing team to help promote the film.

Like I've stated previously, the film will be in cities across the country until March 30th, then we'll get ready for the long awaited DVD release.


Rochester, NY - October 16th

Bharti Dunne Sponsored

Syracuse, NY - October 17th

Ophelia's Place Sponsored
The Palace Theatre
2385 James Street
Syracuse, NY 13206
Chicago, IL - October 18th

Tribute to Sidney Poitier
Personal Day (Gotta have em sometimes)

Atlanta, GA - October 22nd and 23rd

Landmark Midtown Art Cinema
931 Monroe Drive
Atlanta, GA 30308
7pm show each night
I will do a Q&A after each show

Purchase tickets by clicking here and selecting the date:
Purchase Tickets - Atlanta

Raleigh/Durham, NC - October 28th

Duke University

Charlotte, NC - Opens Friday, October 31st

Ballantyne Village Theatre
14815 John J. Delaney Dr.
Charlotte, NC
I'll do a Q&A after the 7pm and 9pm show on 10/31 and 11/1



Bainbridge Island, WA - November 9th

Tonawanda, NY - November 11th

Tonawanda YWCA Sponsored
Historic Riviera Theatre
67 Webster Street
North Tonawanda, NY 14120

Houston, TX - Opens November 14th

Angelika Theatre
510 Texas Ave.
Houston, TX 77002

Minneapolis, MN - November 19th and 20th

Emily Program Sponsored
Landmark Lagoon Cinema
1320 Lagoon Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
7pm & 9:30pm show each night
I will do a Q&A after each show

Purchase tickets by clicking here and selecting the date:
Purchase Tickets - Minneapolis

Washington, DC - November 24th (Pending)

YWCA Kennedy Center Screening

Washington, DC - November 25th and 26th (Pending)

Honolulu, Hawaii - Opens November 28th

Honolulu Academy of Arts
Doris Duke Theatre
900 South Beretania
Honolulu, HI 96814



Philadelphia, PA - December 3rd and 4th

Landmark Ritz 5
214 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
7pm show each night
I will do a Q&A after the 7pm show on the 3rd

Purchase tickets by clicking here and selecting the date:
Purchase Tickets - Philadelphia

Corning, NY - December 4th

Ophelia Place Sponsor

Chicago, IL - December 9th

My 1st Annual "Thank You Chicago - America the Beautiful" Screening/Reception & Birthday Bash. GOING TO BE LOTS OF FUN!

Miami, FL - December 17th and 18th (Pending)



Boston, MA - January 22nd
Northeastern University
Nashville, TN - January 28th and 29th (Pending)



East Lansing, Michigan - February 10th

Michigan State University
San Jose, CA - February 17th (Pending)

Towson, MD - February 22nd

Ames, Iowa - February 23rd

Iowa State University

Memphis, TN - February 24th

Tucson, AZ - February 25th

University of Tucson

Dallas, TX - February 26th and 27th



Corpus Christie, TX - March 18th (Pending)


Everywhere I go, people always ask me what is beauty. What makes a person beautiful? I normally tell them that beauty is many things and you can find it in many places. Then I came up with an idea, derived from my philosophy that everyone living has something unique and beautiful about them.

What if I featured a different person with each blog issue and had them to explain what made them beautiful. In their own words.

 That brings us to my first "Beautiful Person of the Week."

One things for sure, you won't catch me airbrushing anyone. As a matter of fact, I didn't know how to work Photoshop well enough to get rid of the red-eye. So see, we get to experience the realness of the camera.  :)

This week's "Beautiful Person," is  LaVonne Meyer:

LaVonne Meyer:

For the past year, I've been promoting "America the Beautiful," to anyone who will listen because its message about cultural constructs of beauty is so powerful and well-delivered. But as I attempted to compose an anecdote about what makes me beautiful, I struggled. And struggled. And struggled.

It's easy for me to recognize characteristics in others that I consider beautiful - such as creativity or a great sense of humor - and to articulate my appreciation for those characteristics. But do I think I possess those characteristics myself? Well, no.

My reflections on where I find beauty eventually led to an "Ah-ha!" moment derived from the adage "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." Perhaps my ability to readily find beauty in others is the greatest manifestation of my own beauty. That is, my gratitude for the goodness I see in those around me, and my capacity to share this sense of appreciation with them, is a valuable attribute in itself. Just as importantly, it makes the recipient consider the idea that their beauty extends to traits they hadn't previously thought of as such.

Simply put, expressing my appreciation for others makes me happy. Making a habit of telling people what you find beautiful in them creates a ripple effect that can make all of us feel more beautiful. I'm hard-pressed to recall a good hair day or a killer outfit that led to a memorable connection with another person. But I can think of many situations when my profound sense of gratitude made me feel beautiful, and made someone else feel beautiful too. And for those experiences, I am grateful as well.

Until next time,

Darryl Roberts