SHAUNIE O’NEAL SPEAKS ON THE NEGATIVE PORTRAYAL OF BLACK WOMEN ON REALITY TV

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Shaunie O’ Neal — executive producer of Basketball Wives, has opened up about the negative portrayal of black women on reality TV. In an open letter to CNN, Shaunie said that reality TV should be balanced and that the new generation of reality TV seems to “be more about the drama and less about the storyline.”

She wrote, “I have gotten both good and bad responses from viewers about ‘Basketball Wives,’ and I certainly understand the opinion that the shows portrayal of black women is beginning to look somewhat negative. As you see on the show, I’m not a big supporter of the bickering, drink throwing and fighting, but when you put a group of strong, independent and vocal women who are going through or just came out of a bad relationship together, there’s bound to be a little drama.”

  • She continued, “Let’s face it, we all know women like the ones on ‘Basketball Wives’ and countless other reality shows: Women who are vocal if you cross them. The problem for me is when black women are portrayed as only being that way and labeled different than their non-black counterparts for the same type of behavior. That’s when it becomes negative and damaging to our image. I’m not saying we have to create shows that only paint a pretty picture about who we are, but there should be a balance and most of all some integrity to the shows we create.”
  • She then revealed that she wanted to do Basketball Wives to show the reality of the women behind professional athletes. She said, “I believe that is positive and when handled properly can be very uplifting and empowering for women going through the same issues, no matter their race. That’s why I wanted to do “Basketball Wives.” I wanted to show what life is really like when you are with a professional athlete — and that sometimes all that glitters isn’t gold.
  • She continued, “My role as executive producer of the show does not negate my concern for how black women are portrayed on reality TV, but I do believe that there are some shows attempting to strike a balance and have a positive message despite the drama. I’m personally working with Shed Media and VH1 to make sure that “Basketball Wives” stands among them.”

LAURA GOVAN ON BASKETBALL WIVES ‘WHATEVER HAPPENS, HAPPENS’


Laura Govan
— the ex girlfriend of NBA baller Gilbert Arenas has opened up about appearing on the upcoming reality series Basketball Wives: LA. As previously reported, Gilbert is looking to block Laura’s appearance on the show and has threatened to sue the production company to stop the show from airing. According to The Washington Post, when asked about the situation, Laura siad,”Whatever happens, happens.”

She continued, “I just wanted to showcase a new chapter in my life. A fresh start, a fresh outlook on life as a single mom.”

  • Laura gave birth to she and Gilbert’s fourth child a few weeks ago and said that she and Gilbert”do not communicate but are working in the best interests of their children.”
  • Executive producer, Noah Pollack called Laura a “spark plug”. He stated, “The fact that they (Laura and Gloria) are sisters is a great, great story for us.”
  • The show is set to air in late August.
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