Basketball Wives has been criticized since its inception for its portrayal of black women. Fans have tuned in for four seasons to see the women fuss, fight, make up and do it all over again. There have been some catfights but it was typically relegated to glass throwing, hair pulling and the occasional slap. However, it seems like the cast wanted to take things up a notch.
Reality television is one of my guilty pleasures and like many I tuned in to the latest Basketball Wives episode. There was not a punch thrown but the behavior of one of the cast members was just as disgusting.
Tami was angry at Kesha for talking about her behind her back and confronted her during a vacation in Tahiti. Tami yelled and screamed at a clearly frightened Kesha which sent the latter running from the scene. While she was gone, Tami snatched her purse and refused to give it back to her until she got an apology. Eventually, she got her things back and left Tahiti.
To the say the scene is shocking is an understatement. It was like watching a pitbull attack a Chihuahua. I don’t particularly like Kesha but in that moment, I felt really bad for her. She was clearly frightened and none of the other women stuck up for her or tried to reason with Tami. I used to consider her to be one of my favorite cast members but after what I saw, I felt ashamed for her. Instead of being the no-nonsense Tami people came to love, she just became another screaming drama queen. She was no different from Evelyn who was running across tables a couple of episodes before.
The women of Basketball Wives don’t have a luxury that a lot of their white counterparts have. Teresa Giudice can flip a table in Real Housewives of New Jersey and most people would just laugh it off and call her crazy. A Tami Roman and Nene Leakes would be used as examples to validate stereotypes of black women as loud, confrontational and violent. It is not fair but that’s reality. These women have other sides to them but those sides don’t generate ratings. A black woman throwing a drink will generate ratings quicker than one running a board meeting.
These women are business women, entrepreneurs and mothers but viewers rarely get to see that side of them. Tami has been honest about being sexually abused and she could be an example for people that have had to deal with the same issues. She has also done philanthropy work. I would like to see more of that instead of snatching purses. These women need to be held accountable for their actions and it seems like that is finally happening. There have been calls for boycott and petitions and it seems like VH1 is listening.
“We at VH1 agree with and support Shaunie and the show producers’ “no excessive physical confrontations” policy on the series moving forward,” said VH1 in a press release. “We are all committed to balancing the candid, bold excitement that the viewers have come to love in the series with storylines and representations they can be proud of.”
The show’s executive producer Shaunie O’Neal also pledges to stop the violence. “I feel that all these ladies take responsibility for what their actions are,” said O’neal. “After seeing ourselves this season, it definitely was a lot more bad than good. I’ve really tried to preach the whole “˜Let’s get some balance’ and now I think my voice is resonating.”
Hopefully, Shaunie and VH1 will stick to their promises but it is up to us to hold them and anyone else peddling negative images accountable. They can’t make money if we aren’t buying.
BMWK family, what do you think of the portrayal of black women and violence on Basketball Wives and other reality shows? Does this show make wives look bad? Does this show make black women look bad?
I wrote something along the same lines over on my site. I take responsibility for being a part of the problem. If we stop watching, then they will stop running shows like these.
I haven’t watched a full season since the first one and even then I stopped watching it the 2nd to last episode because of how these grown women were acting. As far as that politically correct move the network is making with the no fighting policy it’s not because they all of a sudden have a conscience but because 2 days before this announcement they were hit with multiple sponsors dropping due to the backlash of the show. Now that it’s messing with their money now they decide to do something. SMH
I really don’t think the show makes wives look bad because most of these women aren’t wives which in my opinion is an insult to the title, but that isn’t my point. I do think they make women look bad and especially black women, this show has nothing to do with a wife there are no men except the media lover OchoCinco willing to be seen as being a part of this. I have a lot of female friends, but with these type of friends who needs enemies. I would never approve of my girlfriends treating someone so awful and Shaunie is full of ish. She throws rocks & hides her hands. Evelyn I am sad for, Tammie needs more than therapy, she needs to get checked into somewhere with her angry self, nobody should be bullied like she did Kesha it was childish and sick, I know her daughters are totally embarrassed because she has no filter & no sense of rationale when she is in her manic state. It is no wonder why most of these control freak women have failed relationships with men & women.
Forgive me for breaking up the war of words, that seem to be genuine concern, for what these women portray to others and the younger generation of women. I would hate to be the one to hold up the mirror. But, if not me…then who? We are all examples of what people see and we all portray the image of women. Whether white black or indifferent. How dare you call these women out their name and speak with such disdain and arrogant judgment, while as the same time condemning her? I am not saying see is right in her actions. Not by any means am I saying her behavior is justified. However, backbiting and throwing stones is no better. You need to stop breaking her down and try building her up. Stop putting your mouth on people and feeling as if you spitting venomous words about the character of a woman / women you only know for 30 min on edited reality t.v. because the young women are looking at you also. If your reaction is no better than her actions….What are they learning from you…ijs
Excuse the miskeys, I was on my android.
Veronica Ware says
You know, I am so sick of people who bully others they feel are weak!!! Keisha should have knocked Tami’s teeth down her throat right in the middle of her ranting!!! Tami is an angry person who needs to be taken down a notch or two!! I guess since she was “violated” that gives her a right to hurt other people. Wrong answer sister girl! The way she treated Keisha makes it hard for me to have any sympathy for Tami at all!
I was a kid who got bullied when I was in grade school by a group of girls. I would not fight. I would not stand up for myself and those girs made my life hell. No one had any respect for me because I was so afraid of these girls. Oh, but one day, years later I got pushed into a corner with no way out. I was laughed at and asked, ‘What are you gonna do, go tell your Mama?’. And at that moment I finally stood up for myself. I clocked that hoodrat right between the eyes and it was on! I kicked her a$$. I actually surprised myself. And needless to say my days of being bullied were over. Finally.
Keisha should have stood up for herself and let that hoodrat Tami know she ain’t scared of her. Then packed her bags and left the vacation and the show because the show is full of two-faced, no respect having, foul-mouth, backstabbing hoodrats who all need to be pulled off television!
Keisha D says
ummmm Shaunie nor VH1 felt this way until advertisers started pulling…because first of all they have to edit the show which means they have viewed and approved the entire season prior to it being released. Piss on my leg and call it rain another day Shaunie and VH1..get outta here. Bullies are bullies no matter the age..voyeurs are voyeurs no matter the age…don’t watch the show to see how badly women(no matter the race or culture) are portrayed just don’t watch..don’t let it be a guilty pleasure because some young lady thinks that is appropriate behavior. These women are over 35+ still selling themselves for trinkets..those that control images control our thoughts ijs..don’t even let it enter ur spectrum.
Kimberly Moore says
Honestly, I hope the show gets cancelled. Its disgusting and the last episode was painful to watch. I do blame Shaunie because she plays the innocent role but she brought all these women to the show and cashes in on their bad behavior.
Let me know how we can get it cancelled and I will join the fight.
It is a sad, sad situation! I was the wife of a famous athlete and this show and the action of theses bullies is a disgrace. I know a lot of beautiful, intellegent, well rounded, respectful wives that are shaking their heads. These women do NOT represent wives of any kind! How can anyone allow these type of actions continue? They are all losers! and people pay for this? OMG!
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They make themselves look bad. I don’t act like that never did and never will. My family, friends, co-workers and strangers communicate with me with the same respect that I have for myself. Please, please stop acting as if others whether acting horrible or good represent the “Black” anything. Each individual represent themselves. Thank you.
I took a break from my midterm studying to watch Basketball Wives for the first time this weekend. The medical school I attend is 99% white. They expect “people of color” to act this way. My verbal language and body language are watched regularly because they anticipate responses like those perpetuated in reality shows like this. I was truly saddened and ashamed after watching the show. Except for financial gain, I’m still struggling to see how this show edifies, uplifts or empowers women of any color. I can’t comprehend how another human being feels justified to physically assault another human being for exercising their constitutional right “freedom of speech.” The woman portrayed in the show boast about being “classy” but that is a major contradiction. I’m ashamed that Shaunie would produce/endorse/engage in “mess” like this. I gave Shaunie the benefit of the doubt until I saw her sit back and comment about people’s repetitive violent behaviors yet she wouldn’t try to authoritatively end the violence. With the footage that I have seen, Shaunie and several other women could have been injured seriously. It makes me wonder why these women are in the predicaments they are in. If these women were required to attend treatment, get counseling and take medications that would be a different story. However, this show is not about getting people the “help” they need but merely entertainment and financial gain. Many of these women have children and protect them fiercely but what examples are they setting? What legacy are they leaving? I’m beginning to understand why these women are single, divorced, separated or experiencing issues. I have never seen more fights over “freedom of speech” in my life. A real woman is capable of demonstrating restraint. The childish games they play are just disturbing. All the fancy cars, homes, clothes and business ownership amounts to absolutely nothing when your attitude and behavior is like theirs. It is not a “black” or “white” thing but a “wrong” or “right” thing. Reality television needs a makeover……I’m just sad that women in such powerful positions are perpetuating this foolishness. Put this mess on YouTube but not television. GOD help the USA!
In addition to my last posting, these women that like to trash restaurants, assault and threaten others need to be prosecuted for each incidence separately. If they go unchecked, it only encourages the behavior and sends the wrong message to others especially children who may watch this madness. After they get charged repeatedly, I’m positive the behavior would change. I applaud Jennifer Williams for taking the high road and filing a police report. These women have some major issues and they can get all the counseling and medication they need in jail…..I know because I used to work in corrections. There are two types of people…animals and beasts. We are all animals but not all of us are beasts. Beasts need to be restrained and locked up. There are a lot of beasts on this television show.
Black women aren’t good for much besides & beyond sex. They’re not marriageable because they’re incapable of listening and following the directions of their husbands. This situation has more to do with laws that have been enacted to give American women protection in the courts at the expense of their husbands.