On August 20th, “R&B Divas” featuring Faith Evans, Nicci Gilbert, Syleena Johnson, Monifah and Keke Wyatt will premiere on TV One.
One of the starts of that new reality show is 41-year-old Monifah. The singer/songwriter reportedly fell off the scene because of a drug and alcohol addiction. She told JustTheFab.com that she has been clean for a year-and-a-half after struggling with a cocaine addiction for seven years. Everyone loves a comeback story, so Monifah’s plight will likely draw viewers support.
However, she’s suspects another aspect of her life will be tough for black viewers to watch: homosexuality
When Monifah appeared with her fellow cast members at the TCA Summer Press Tour last week, she said she believes her sexuality will be a tough subject for black audiences in particular to watch on television.
“We have been walking around with blinders on and with a lot of things, sexuality being one of them, period, whether you’re gay, straight, transgender, or whatever,” she said regarding the black community. “I just I felt that it was time, or I feel my truth is what it is, and that’s what I came on this show to do, to help people to relate; especially the youth, people that are struggling with their identity. I figured I’m supposed to tell my truth.”
In the show’s trailer, Monifah’s teen daughter Akemi makes it clear that she is not feeling her mother’s lesbian relationship, telling her “I don’t support it.”
At the press tour, Monifah said it’s time to start addressing these issues on television — and viewers will see it in the scenes with her daughter.
“We’re dealing with what I think the world is dealing with, as far as tolerance and acceptance, on a global level,” she said. “I’m dealing with that on a personal level, and how we are working through that to agree to disagree because maybe our belief systems are different. But she is my child. I’m her mother, and again, we have to start addressing these things.”
The black community (much like the whole nation) is pretty divided on homosexuality, but it would be surprising to hear any backlash about Monifah. Haven’t we known that she was gay since the 90′s? Even Monifah told Essence that she was never “in the closet” saying “I’ve never been anything but who I am, and I’ve lived my authentic life.” Sounds like she’s hoping her story will help others live their authentic life too. We’ll see!
What do you think about Monifah’s statements? Do you think any viewers will have a problem with her open homosexuality on the show?
Follow Alissa on Twitter @AlissaInPink
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