a public service announcement on behalf of thong-clad purveyors of the ass shudder

[Morgan Freeman walks along an urban street front.]

Hello, I’m Morgan Freeman – and I’m here to appeal to you on a matter of grave importance to our community.

[The plaintive sounds of a pan flute can be heard over slo-mo images from videos by 50 Cent, P. Diddy and Jay-Z. Freeman continues in voiceover.]

You probably don’t know their names. You probably wouldn’t recognize their faces. But there’s just no forgetting their asses.

They are the veterans of countless hip-hop music videos. In their prime, they appeared alongside and, more often, on top of some of the most talented hip-hop artists of the day, as well as Ja Rule.

They are the unsung heroines of the rise of rap, the women who bared their souls – and 84% of the surface area of their bottoms – to convincingly portray such varied screen roles as the Ho, the Slut, the Dancing Slut, the Slutty Bitch, the Ho-Bitch, the Totally Ho-like Ho and the Bespectacled Ph.D Candidate (Who Turns Out to Be a Ho).

They gave us joy. They gave us entertainment. Also, erections.

They gave and gave. And now they need our help.

These ass-baring pioneers were peerless purveyors of not only the Ass Grind but also the Ass Shake, Ass Shimmy, Ass Quake, Ass Shudder, Ass Oscillation (better known in the industry as “the Assilation”) and varying degrees of Ass Palpitation. Most could also waltz, but you’d be surprised how rarely that came up.

Bottom line: If you wanted some asses in your hip-hop videos, and you wanted those asses to shake, shimmy, quake, shudder, oscillate and/or palpitate, these were the women you called on.

And they were called on.

The perks were legendary: These women were subjected to the misogynous disses and flagrant groping of  the elite hip-hop stars of the day. Their cabooses were buffed and powdered by the industry’s top ass makeup artists. And sometimes, if the wardrobe guys forgot to collect the thongs at the end of the day, they’d take those thongs home and totally keep them.

Yes, the living was sweet at the top. But now these selfless artists are paying a horrible price for their fleeting moment in the limelight.

[We hear somber, tinkly piano music.]

The pace, the exertion, the surprising heft of those gold lamee bikinis — it was all too much. Many now suffer from Repetitive Ass Disorder, the involuntary grinding and shaking of the hips, a condition that not only results in the victim being socially ostracized but also makes it really hard for her to urinate with any precision. There is no cure.

Meanwhile, some of those who started too young have fallen victim to Ass Dysplasia. Quite literally, their bum bones have been trained by the relentless toing and froing to grow at an abnormal angle. For these unfortunate souls, life is an endless cycle of searing pain and ill-fitting trousers.

[Morgan stops walking. The camera zooms in on his face.]

You’ve answered our call before. You donated generously to the young rappers whose necks were grotesquely deformed by the weight of those car hood ornaments. You responded to our telethon to raise money to hire an assassin to travel back in time and head off the musical career of Billy Ocean.

But we need your help again. For research toward a cure, and hope for a better life. Ladies and gentlemen, I beg of you: Won’t you please think of the bitches?