A delegation of Detroit residents will come to New York Monday for a meeting with NBC executives over a recent "Dateline" special on the city.
"America Now: City of Heartbreak and Hope" — in which Chris Hansen returned to his hometown to highlight the problems in the area — has angered that city's black residents.
"I believe that the airing of 'City of Heartbreak and Hope' has caused irreparable harm to the good people of Detroit," Reverend Horace Sheffield III said. "Detroit deserves a fair media shake from NBC. We travel to New York City to discuss the possibility of airing a follow-up production that is balanced and does not wallow in sensationalistic negativity.
"The network obsession to obtain ratings by any means necessary must be balanced with a sense of fairness," he said. "How in the hell can you justify portraying America's poorest and blackest city as having been reduced to eating coon meat as a Detroit staple?"
Sheffield plans to ask NBC to institute a Code of Fairness that would, according to one report, "take into account the impact of airing productions that have the potential to harm a city."
"Does Detroit need help? Yes. We need help," he acknowledged. "But Detroit and Michigan were hit harder than any other region in the nation by the economic downturn. NBC would have one believe that Detroit caused its own pain. Nothing could be further from reality."
Below, watch a trailer for the production: