The group wrote to MTV in May asking it to scrub the episode from the network and online. Then AIM called for a boycott of MTV and "Dudesons" sponsors, including Frito-Lay, Burger King and Pepsi. The petition site has already gotten 1,000 signatures. Fairbanks is also threatening to file a federal suit alleging the show violates Native Americans' civil rights.
How did this happen? It happened because of AIM's persistent protests: the letter-writing, the street demonstration, the petition, the call for a boycott, and the threatened lawsuit. These efforts combined to draw the attention of the mainstream media. The story is out there now.
Proving the point, the Celebrity Mound blog and a USA Today business blog have picked up the story. Who knows where it'll appear next?
The protest's goal(s)
AIM's primary goal may be to get the episode off the air. My primary goal is to educate people about the ongoing problem of stereotyping. With this controversy, we're doing it.
As with Alcatraz, Wounded Knee II, and other protests in recent years, Americans are learning that Indians are still here. That they're not going to take racism and injustice lying down. That they're going to fight back when people ignore, insult, or attack them.
For more on the subject, see Indians Shouldn't Act Uppity? and Devil's Advocate Defends Saginaw Grant.