As Executive Producer, Shaunie O’Neal is no stranger to the criticism her popular series, “Basketball Wives,” receives, but she questions the flack her Black cast gets compared to shows featuring White women.
“What do you say about the White ladies on TV doing it?" she responded when asked about the fighting and violence that often occur on the show. "When Black women do it, they’re ghetto and demeaning the Black women of America. It only seems that way when it’s us,” she said.
The women on the show have been known to throw a punch or two—and more than a few drinks—at their frenemies.
Although shows like “Basketball Wives” and “Real Housewives of Atlanta” portray Black women in a way that is similar to the way shows like “Real Housewives of New Jersey” or “Rock of Love” depict White women, Shaunie said she’s not making excuses for the cast members on her series.
“I don’t condone two women having a physical fight. Absolutely not,” she told Sister 2 Sister.
Whether the shows have a Black, White or Latino cast, Shaunie has learned that drama and confrontation are staples of “good” reality TV.
“You definitely get thrown into dinner or having drinks and events with people that you might not necessarily be around. [Under different circumstances], we might not go to dinner with Royce [Reed],” she said in reference to one of the cast members who isn’t in Shaunie’s inner circle.
“But that’s how it works because if we didn’t do that, you wouldn’t have a show,” she said.
—Tracy L. Scott
How does Shaunie manage to stay out of the "Basketball Wives" confrontations? Get the story in the August 2011 issue of Sister 2 Sister.
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