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Color Of Change Demands Bravo’s 'The Real Housewives Of Atlanta' To Clean Up Its Act

by Sergio
April 23, 2014 11:39 AM
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O.K. confession time. I’ve never seen a single episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, and have never wanted to either. Call me strange, old fashioned, or out of the loop, or whatever, but I just haven’t had any interest in watching a group of yaki weave wearing black women fight and make fools of themselves on television.

Of course, we all know that it’s all staged and scripted, and that the women are encouraged and pushed to act that way, or else they’ll be dumped from the show, which means they won’t be able to stretch their allotted 15 minutes of fame for at least another minute or two. But would the show lose viewers overnight if everyone on it acted like an intelligent, adult person?

Well the civil rights group Color of wants some major changes to the show, since they feel that it’s gotten too ridiculous, and that RHOA does nothing but perpetrate negative and destructive stereotypes of black women in the media.

Push evidently came to shove with this Sunday’s RHOA "reunion" special, when a couple of the women got into a physical brawl, prompting Color of Change to release the following statement:

"The physical violence displayed during Bravo's Sunday primetime lineup was deeply alarming. After weeks of promoting the RHOA reunion altercation on Sunday, executive producer Andy Cohen finally condemned the violent behavior of cast members -- completely ignoring the staged hostile environment that provoked the altercation and the troubling pattern of violent, stereotypical portrayals of Black people across many of Bravo's Black reality franchises."

The statement further went on to say that:

"Research shows that dehumanizing portrayals of Black people on television lead to real-world consequences for Black folks -- influencing how we are treated by doctors, judges, teachers and lawmakers. No matter how entertaining, this should be the last fight between Black women that Bravo profits from."

However, Color of Change falls short of calling for a straight-out boycott of the show. Rather, they want RHOA and the Bravo Network to enact a “no excessive confrontations policy” - the same thing that VH1’s Basketball Wives did back in 2012, when things on that show got out of hand.

But seriously, the only way to have people act rationally on a TV show is to have them, in effect, sign a contract to behave?  As if they can’t act normally on their own. 

Has it gotten this bad or am I just naïve?

What do you say?

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  • Monique | July 28, 2014 1:03 AMReply

    One thing I don't understand is why we are letting a TV show about how some black women act define us. Why is RHOA a stereotype? Why does it have to be? It's a show about a few black women who can't stand each other so what. They are even worse in the RH franchises, fair enough, the fight was out of hand but you have shows like jerry springer, maury, honey boo boo, and many other shows where our white counterparts show themselves up. Why as a race do we feel we have to be better than the next race? I'm training to be a nurse and in no way shape or form am I going to let a reality tv show define me as a black woman.

  • john | June 16, 2014 12:38 AMReply

    I think your just as ignorant as these women. talk about them not knowing them at all and WHY so you can make money from this ratchet blog. They are just making money and you obviously know they are acting. so please have several seats or create content about something you know

  • dlc | June 16, 2014 4:54 AM

    Judging by your incorrect spelling of the word "your", your use of the word "rachet", and many other grammatical and syntax errors, I would guess you are one of the ladies on the show.

    Relax and have a cookie, bubblehead, we just wanna see dat booty so quit all that silly girl talkin and start shakin that thing until it's time for me to go home to my real woman.

    JUST KIDDIN! You ladies are just fine by me.

  • Ed | May 7, 2014 1:25 PMReply

    Man I sincerely hope they dont cancel this show, where else am I going to be able to see uneducated women with low self esteem and fake boobs slapping each other for public attention? Damm i love dis show!!

  • Clayton | May 7, 2014 1:08 PMReply

    I watched the last reunion 3 episode of RHOA and believe you me it has gone beyond entertainment. It is really unhealthy for people who dripping with such contempt for each other to be confined in close quarters. People talking over people and screaming at the top of their voices to drown out the opinion of others.
    Then after the women and their husbands rip each other to shreds we have Andy Cohen sits there grimacing and smiling at the people.
    Honestly this show is doing a lot of damage to the image of black women but as always let them defend the show.

    Andy Cohen describe what the show has evolved into as a "Great Season". I do not know if he used to fight and bicker in his parents home but such behavior is not the norm and never should be. The idea that it involves big money and others are doing it so let the black community go to the depths of depravity is the logic of the devil himself.
    Nobody is policing these black women but in the same vein they are not model examples to the black kids and youth.

  • Willafong | April 27, 2014 3:31 PMReply

    I think it could be Black, White, Asian whatever but he should of stopped it from the get-go because you can only provoke someone so much before they react and to allow her to have a bullhorn and her magical wound pointing it at people and "puffing them like she has special fairy dust" is just sooo soo wrong, and to top it off he go's and apologize's to crazy Kenya and then walk into Porsha's dressing room and ask her what happened???? really you dumb you know what, she had a bullhorn and wound that's what. It makes me beyond mad!!!! "what happened" PLEASE!!

  • Mia | April 26, 2014 4:23 PMReply

    if they want to demand anything..why the hell don't they DEMAND THEY GET RID OF THAT SHIT ALTOGETHER

  • QB | April 24, 2014 5:57 PMReply

    The show is not necessarily the problem.. the fact that Black folks watch this trash is.

  • tlin | April 24, 2014 8:08 AMReply

    I don't think it matters how black or white women are portrayed on TV, people are going to have their stereotypical opinions no matter what. I know what I see on TV regarding how white women are portrayed is far from the truth. I encounter them everyday and it's not demure pretty lily around here.

  • OnlyFair | April 24, 2014 6:08 AMReply

    If Floyd Mayweather, NFL players, wrestlers, etc. can get fame and cash for beating the hell outta people then I think it's only fair the women get rewarded for tearing into each other

  • Leona | April 24, 2014 1:09 AMReply

    One last thing, has anyone seen the show "Gypsy Sisters" on TLC? No? Hmm.... check it out. Because a similar situation occurred on that show and no one said anything about it. Is it because this show is about white women in West Virginia? Sounds hypocritical to me. Give us a break. There are ignorant people in each race. Like I said before, us all a break please. Look up
    "Gypsy Sisters FIGHT. OMG LMBO" on youtube and the video will come up.

  • Leona | April 24, 2014 1:02 AMReply

    I only skimmed through this article and stopped halfway simply because I feel like people forget that this is called ENTERTAINMENT. People wanted to be entertained and to be frank, the incident that occurred Sunday was a bit much, but intriguing at the same time. Life happens, things happen, so what. No one was seriously injured and only hair was pulled. Give it a break people. As far as these women being an embarrassment to African Americans, let me just say this- if you want to find a great role model who is African American then go research someone. It's not that hard to do. I wouldn't choose any of these women on this show as a role model for myself, but I have found other women such as Coretta Scott King and Michelle Obama to look up to.

  • Miles Ellison | April 23, 2014 11:08 PMReply

    The sad fact is that no one is interested in watching intelligent, dignified black women on television. This show (and others like it) are on television because there is an audience. The only way this stops is if black people stop patronizing it.

  • aliciafiasco | April 23, 2014 3:48 PMReply

    Personally, I think it's funny they chose RHOA to set this example. I do believe that media portrayals lead to real life incidences of bias and prejudice, without a doubt. However, this show is more balanced than most reality shows, and much of the fictitious works that represent black folks in the media. RHOA has shown women bickering with each other, but to its credit it has also shown these same women working, being active mothers and there have even been moments of true sisterhood displayed. So, if they are going to hold Bravo accountable, do so by all means, but when are they going to pull Tyler Perry's card? When are they going to get at World Star Hip Hop? This is an ongoing thing, so it shouldn't just start and stop with Bravo. I also find it interesting because RHOA has had the least incidences of violence of all the reality shows I can think of. I could be wrong though.

  • Akimbo | April 27, 2014 11:01 AM

    I agree. The women on RHOA may have their flaws, but they're not stereotypes. I don't know if there's been violence on the show in the past, but will say that the perpetrator in this case is the one cast member who would probably fit in better on Basketball Wives. Nothing against any BBW who may be doing good things, but this girl is young, moronic, and has done nothing with her life aside from marrying an athlete.

  • Random Commentary | April 23, 2014 3:44 PMReply

    I honestly think WE try to police our public image FAR too much. Did white people try to ban Roseanne, Peggy Bundy, Honey Boo Boo? No. Why, because any image of them on tv represents opportunity and representation. WE keep trying to perpetuate the Cosby show image on America, when the Cosby show realistically represented a small minority of affluent black families. Any time a trifling show gets aired WE get up in arms, for what. Black faces on tv shows (not real life crime shows) represent POWER. Either take the good imagery with the bad or settle for minimized to no representation on tv. Those are black actresses working as opposed to being unemployed.

  • Random Commentary | April 24, 2014 4:41 PM

    @ 9JAH

    Don't get me wrong I faithfully watched The Cosby Show and A Different World. And guess what the closest WE got to a similar show like that was The Bernie Mac Show R.I.P . I have no problem watching affluent black families in a positive portrayal on tv. I just don't expend my energy beeotchin when trifling shiz gets aired.

    Accept the situation for what it is, reality tv is what's currently popular. Network tv isn't must see tv. Its let me watch this show right quick while I heat this hot pocket.

  • 9jah | April 24, 2014 12:51 PM

    This right here reflects perhaps the biggest stonewall to black folks in America. No one says black people are all like the Cosby's but there is nothing wrong whatsoever with being aspirational and projecting the finish line. As a culture, what is our desired standard?

    We obsess over our every inadequacy and revel in our most basic elements but cry foul when others pick them sore.

  • Miles Ellison | April 23, 2014 11:10 PM

    There were white people who attempted to ban Married With Children, and in fact succeeded in preventing an episode from airing.

  • Rashidah | April 23, 2014 1:43 PMReply

    Its crazy to me that we all came together to ensure that the show about the rapper with all his baby mamas never aired, yet RHOA just wrapped up season 6. Why is it okay to show grown women on TV acting a complete fool? To me if we are going to stop one show which totally degrades the black community then all of them need to go. This goes for the Love&Hip hop, basketball wives, black ink, R&B Divas, Braxton family values, SWV show, and other show where we are humuliating our communities. We need to stop believing that it is okay to trade in our self worth for a pay check. Remember you may be acting, but this is who the world thinks we are. More importantly, this who the next generations are going to believe they have to be. I realize we are adults who have the right to make our own decisions, but we also have a responsibility to ourselves and our community. Have some pride please, we can afford to get any lower.

  • ld | April 23, 2014 3:32 PM

    Why is it okay? Because some find it entertaining and the entertainers profit from consensually taking part. I agree that those shows are very stereotypical, I don't watch any of them, but I have only tuned it to see the fights as seeing vapid people beat each other is entertaining, so without these drama I don't how these tedious trash would still get views.

    An interesting example of this kind of genre, would be one of my all time guilty pleasure the bad girls club. This show has girls of all races and excess violence, but it's feel like actual reality almost like a documentary, as opposed to your list which are more like awful black soap operas. I think the bad girls club has so much entertainment value in showing these intense situations, akin to thrills fans of boxing get, but it's even more dramatic given the story behind the violence and the reaction you feel towards it whether just or injust, that's the one show I do see value in out of this genre.

  • nOva | April 23, 2014 2:52 PM

    Care to expound on the degrading, humiliating behavior that occurred on Braxton Family Values and SWV Reunited with examples?

  • Nunya | April 23, 2014 1:00 PMReply

    Ugh, these women only represent themselves. How they behave has nothing to do with me as a Black woman. I know someone is going to mention representation and all of that bull, but the truth is that Black people were discriminated in a WORSE way before TV or Film were even invented. The point is, that if a White person or non-Black person is going to be racist, they are always going to find a reason to do so BECAUSE THEY WANT TO! There is only so much we can do about it. Policing and monitoring how other grown Black people conduct themselves is not going to limit racism in any way.

  • Random Commentary | April 23, 2014 3:29 PM

    Thank You. I agree.

  • Tasha | April 23, 2014 12:25 PMReply

    oh not to absolve myself of this violence for entertainment circus let me add my tastes trend toward scifi/fantasy i watch game of thrones. i guess my question is does the fault really lay with the housewives?

  • Tasha | April 23, 2014 12:23 PMReply

    I dont watch either...while this might be helpful i agree there is a culture at Bravo and beyond Bravo that encourages violent behavior for entertainment. NHL is beginning the see the repercussions. They can have a contract but those arent the only parties involved in this circus frankly.

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