History Channel is in hot water after fans discovered the network chose to broadcast reruns of American Pickers instead of any Martin Luther King, Jr.-related content during the widely celebrated MLK Day holiday. The reality TV series, which debuted in 2010, follows the lives of antique and collectible collectors as they travel the country in the hopes of possibly getting the best and rarest finds.
Popularly known for its coverage of a wide range of historical periods and topics including warfare, inventions, aviation, technology, and even conspiracy theories, the History Channel, now officially just History, is a favorite among world war buffs and curious viewers in general. The network used to air extensive documentaries about the aforementioned subjects, so it's a no-brainer that people would presume that on MLK Day, there would be content about King's storied life and immeasurable contributions in the continued efforts for civil rights. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
frankgrimes_sr from Reddit pointed out the anomaly after realizing that on this year's Martin Luther King Jr. Day, History Channel chose to air an American Pickers marathon instead of "honoring one of the most prominent figures in American History." In fact, the network, apparently, isn't "airing a second of programming about him." Considering that his post could attract negative comments, the user preemptively addressed potential backlash by adding: "Whoa, I just wanted to get stoned on my day off and watch an interesting documentary and thought HC was an easy place to look, clearly it’s not. Also I know I’m just a triggered-sjw-snowflake-cuck but some of you are super racist, holy s***. Thanks for the gold random person."
On social media, public personalities and common citizens alike paid respect to the late civil rights leader, so it's bizarre that a network which supposedly champions disseminating information about the past would opt to skip such a very important personality like King. Since History had something related to MLK on their website, people understandably thought they had something in line with their programming. Apparently, this is not the first time History Channel prioritized their reality TV shows than time-sensitive content as one person shared that the station aired a Pawn Stars marathon last June 6, the 73rd anniversary of D-Day.
The slow shift in content is easy to miss, especially when the network is subtly training viewers to get used to their adventure-based programs that take a more reality TV format - a genre that has gained prominence over the years with shows like the long-running Keeping Up With The Kardashians at E! While there is nothing wrong with branching out to try other things to keep people interested, the fact that the History Channel seems to be deviating from their core subject matter is disappointing.