When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong: A Response To Shaunie O’Neal

Shaunie, darling, you’ve got to be tired of releasing statements regarding your friends’ (I use that term loosely) behavior on Basketball Wives. Your publicist should get a raise for drafting up yet another statement to address issues that will likely occur again and again.

In the statement released last week regarding the altercation between cast members, Jennifer Williams, Evelyn Lozada and Nia Crooks, you told viewers that you don’t agree with the negativity that’s spewed and now literally thrown towards the women on the show. Though you may not conduct yourself as the other women do, to continue to produce such a show that promotes this crazy behavior doesn’t help you much. You wrote:

 I will never say I agree with some of the behavior between my girlfriends on the show, but if we were to edit certain things out the show would be scripted and not reality. 

As a woman of color with kids, I am very aware of myself, but I also have to be aware that my choices cannot be the same for everyone on the show and I have to respect that. I hope the fans feel they see a balance and know we have always been real with our stories, even though it may not always be a positive portrayal of adult women but real women nonetheless.

On the show, you are portrayed as the mediator and some would even say, the madame for the ladies—the go-to girl when conflict arises. Whether the show is scripted or real, it’s a given that taking a group of women who refer to each other as “bum bitches” on vacations to “bond” is never a good thing. There’s a cardinal rule in friendship that must be learned and accepted:  People have different sets of friends (i.e. work friends, friends from college, childhood friends, etc.). Those separate sets won’t always like each other; therefore, they should not mix. STOP trying to make this happen. You see where it’s gotten them so far. Ratings are up, but viewer morale and expectation are down.

Drama, trauma and erratic behavior are certainly realities for a lot of folks. I’m not suggesting that we conceal or even sugarcoat those issues, such as abandonment and molestation because they need to brought to light. However, reality shows, such as Basketball Wives are set up to create and/or rehash these issues with little to no time to address them properly. After the cameras stop rolling, then what?

Make it easier on yourself and the ladies and suggest that they seek therapy before the next season or better yet, take some time off to work on themselves entirely, instead of frolicking around for the camera. These women, though solely responsible for their actions, are put on display in front of millions. As a result, they turn the crazy meter up, but at what cost?

Nia Crooks has been charged with battery, and oh, look, there’s even a petition online to boycott Lozada’s upcoming show on VH1, Ev and Ocho due to her violent behavior.

Not only is each woman held accountable, but as executive producer, there is a responsibility factor present that you cannot ignore. If we don’t hold women of color–our own–up to a higher standard, then who will?

Of course, millions of us will tune in to see how this ordeal ends, but soon they will grow tired of the screaming matches and impromptu drinking throwing and slaps (watching it may be entertaining, but it’s exhausting).

Since season 1, it seems as if you’ve become more a babysitter and crisis manager than a producer and confidant. How many more statements will you have to release before you say enough is enough?


4 thoughts on “When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong: A Response To Shaunie O’Neal

  1. I never saw season 1; only season 2 & parts of this season, which I think is season 3. Well goes to show that I am exhausted and bored from watching these women act foolish! I’m done waisting my time watching!

  2. This show need to be taken off tv. There is a petition on change.org and Starr Jones have come out to have this show taken off. Shaunie Oneal say we can not shut her down. They are on lock for another season,but we need to show her. These are ex,, and almost wives. Please they need to go.

  3. Great read!!!! I barely watch the show for this reason….I can watch something that I don’t identify with….I clearly don’t live “that life”…..Shaunie should be embarrassed that these r the ppl she calls “friends” however, I doubt she brings them around her daughters….

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