Friday, May 11, 2012
"Basketball Wives L.A" Star Tanya Williams "Being A Sophisticated Black Lady Made Her A Threat"
In an editorial Tanya wrote for The Daily Beast, she details the ins and outs with her experince on “Basketball Wives L.A.”
"The show has been produced to look like an embarrassing, demeaning, degrading, violent, and outright ignorant display of our worst selves.
I certainly don’t miss the environment I was exposed to while taping Basketball Wives. It was both toxic and controlling. Women were not allowed to communicate after shooting a scene; women were chastised as if they were children; high-ranking executives would childishly ignore cast members on the set; and producers would “ice” cast members from working when they wanted to garner more outrageous conduct from them. Despite the “friendships” portrayed on the screen, some producers purposely planted seeds of discord between the women, and told outright lies, hoping that conflict and drama would ensue. Oftentimes, when I arrived at home, I immediately took a shower because I felt psychologically and emotionally dirty and disgusting from my day on the set."
"I shot Basketball Wives LA for months, including wonderful footage of my involvement with the domestic-violence hotline, an event at my home, a charity event for another cast member, and “normal” dining outings with the women. Yet I was only shown in two episodes. I was not only a threat because I would not belittle myself and simultaneously embarrass my mother, my daughters, and every black women in America, I was also a threat because I told the women that “no television show is worth fighting on and disgracing yourself for.” Despite the fact that legions of fans and supporters wrote to VH1 and on blogs of their desire to see a balanced show, which they felt that I represented, Shed Media decided that a “sophisticated” (their words not mine) woman like me didn’t fit into the new and evolving storylines (“storylines” in the same sentence with Basketball Wives sounds comical). For a time, I wanted to remain a part of Basketball Wives because I felt that my core values and outlook on life represented a larger percentage of the audience than VH1 understood existed. However, that desire waned quickly as I became engrossed in more fulfilling work in media."
I oftentimes think that if VH1 and the production company that produces BW would hire at least one African-American woman producer, with a legitimate say in the creative and editing process, there would be a heightened level of awareness and sensitivity to the images of black women they are broadcasting. Nevertheless, the producers, the director, the cameramen (yes, they too are all men), and the tech personnel can’t force any cast member to throw a punch, toss a glass of water, or curse someone out. The women must take responsibility for their actions and the resulting consequences."
Do you agree or disagree?