For the past couple of weeks, Shaunie O’Neal, the ex-wife of Shaquille O’Neal has been under attack regarding controversial reality show “Basketball Wives.” The reality show which has been on VH1 for four seasons follows the daily triumphs and struggles of the ex-“girlfriends” and wives of NBA basketball players.
Many critics of the show feel that it perpetuates constant negative stereotypes that have been cast upon African American women. It has become common knowledge that Shaunie O’Neal is an executive producer of the show, so it’s clear to see why she would be the prime target of such attacks. In August, during several interviews with the media, O’Neal mentioned that she was embarrassed by some of the images that have been showcased on the show. However, she stressed to the show’s fans that good things would be coming soon and that in the future she hoped that the show would spotlight her co-stars in a better light.
Relationship experts and celebrities have made it their responsibility to hand out public lashings to O’Neal via Twitter. Tiona Smalls of reality show “What Chili Wants” posted a tweet which simply said “Shaunie makes it her business to embarrass people on the show, because she is the ‘executive producer’. “
The show which was shot and produced in Miami for the first three seasons premiered a spin-off which takes place in LA. The first episode of the show featured a fight between Lauryn Govan and Malaysia Pargo. This is not the first time that fights have taken place on the show as the previous season features fights, most notable a fight inside a nightclub between co-stars Meeka Claxton and Tami Roman. Claxton has since been removed from the show.
What’s most ironic about the title of the show is the mere fact that the majority of the stars on the show were never married to a basketball player and some might say that they are using the fame of their relationships to make money.
View Co-host, Sherri Shepherd has also weighed in on her thoughts regarding the show as well, however she like most viewers keep watching to see what happens next.
“I got physically ill watching Gloria Govan and Malaysia fighting like animals. Resolution via fighting?” Shepherd tweeted. She continued by stating “How do you teach young girl 2 have respect & self-esteem, by showing her thru UR actions that you’ll pop someone in the mouth?”
Only time will tell as to whether things will get better on basketball wives, but I’m sure people will continue to watch.
My thoughts: Basketball Wives is a horrible representation of African American women. Each and every week we see women bicker and argue about petty issues, but yet they claim to be women of high class and distinction. However, what woman with class and dignity would mooch off of the fame of a man who she was never married too and make money revealing the details of a personal relationship which did not work out. There are girls out there who believe that shows like this have no affect on the way that they are perceived in the public eye, but it really does. Imagine that you have an interviewer who just happens to surf the web the morning before you have an interview, who just so happens to see a scene of this show. Would he have a good perception of you if this is one of the only encounters that he/she has had with African Americans? It’s something to think about.
What do you think?
Photo courtesy of VH1Press