All Articles Tagged "Reality television"
Looks like America’s (or at least Bravo’s) favorite housewife just lost a storyline. NeNe Leakes’ much talked about role on The New Normal has come to an end. NBC recently dropped the show due to low ratings. So what’s next for reality television’s biggest success story?
Leakes’ IMDb profile gives no hints of future work outside of her current gigs on Bravo and The New Normal creator Ryan Murphy’s hit show Glee. That’s not to say the outlook on NeNe’s career is bleak. Far from it.
According to OK! Magazine, Leakes is the highest paid housewife in Bravo’s history, grabbing a $1 million paycheck (plus bonuses) to appear on season 6 of Real Housewives of Atlanta. It’s unclear whether this figure includes her salary for her upcoming spinoff, I Dream of NeNe, chronicling her wedding with ex-husband Gregg Leakes. And Glee is set for two more seasons, though the scope of NeNe’s role in the series is unclear.
NeNe joined Housewives to advance her acting career. She’s succeeding in using the show as a launching pad. She is seen as the queen bee of the show’s revolving cast of women and a template for other reality stars to follow. But can she make her success last, or is she destined to be a pop culture footnote?
Ryan Murphy, whom she calls her fairy godmother, has been her sole co-sign in Hollywood. Her work with him is the only time we see NeNe not playing herself. And let’s be honest, even when she’s reciting a script, she’s still being sassy, neck-rolling NeNe.
NeNe’s one-note performances aren’t necessarily a weakness. You don’t have to be Viola Davis to have a successful acting career. Character actresses, performers who specialize in playing eccentric or unusual people rather than leading roles, are paying their rent every month. Shout out to Rosie Perez, Jenifer Lewis, and Loretta DeVine.
Love her or hate her, NeNe Leakes is an entertainer. Now is the time for her to prove she can hold her own without famous fans giving her gigs. Leakes is at a crossroads and there are a few roads she can take:
- Tyler Perry Avenue. Outside Madea’s Christmas slated for the end of this year, Mr. Perry has been hanging up the dress in favor of giving other actresses a chance to bring boisterous characters to the screen. Atlanta is small. I’m sure NeNe can bring up her open schedule over cocktails. Or ask best buddy Kim Kardashian for his number.
- Black Rom-Com Way. From Baggage Claim to The Best Man reboot, black romantic comedies are making a comeback. Ms. Leakes would fit right in as the mother-in-law, aunty, or sassy coworker. These things write themselves.
- BET Boulevard. The cable network is surely feeling confident from successes in scripted television like Real House Husbands of Hollywood and The Game. NeNe might even be able to land her own show.
- Token Drive. It’s 2013 and every network show needs a Black character, the sassier the better. NeNe’s proven more than once she can hold her own in an ensemble cast.
NeNe has a large fan base, sufficient talent, and enough star quality to keep pushing her acting career forward if she chooses. What do you think Ms. Leakes next move should be? Should she keep her house in Hollywood or stick to reality?
C. Cleveland covers professional development topics and entrepreneurial rebels who blaze their own career paths. She explores these stories and more on The Red Read, Twitter (@CleveInTheCity) and Facebook (/MyReadIsRed).
Well, isn’t this surprising and pretty weird.
Love & Hip Hop: NY star Erica Mena was in D.C. Friday night for a hosting gig at Bar 7. She wore a very pretty green dress that showed off her body, including what appears to be a pregnancy bump. The above Instagram picture was captioned with her saying, “Any questions?”
Actually, boo, we do have some questions and concerns.
This is the same Erica Mena who was caught getting into a huge catfight last week at a nail salon. It is pretty clear in these pictures that she and her friends are focusing our attention towards her belly which means she new she was with child whilst engaging in yet another embarrassing moment of her “losing her cool.”
This will make the second child for Erica. She has a son from a previous relationship and if you watch the show, her parenting skills have often come into question.
But here’s the really odd part: According to The YBF, her manager and onscreen boyfriend Rich Dollaz seemed to know nothing about it. When they got in touch with him about it, Rich replied:
“I don’t know about all the pregnancy rumors. Erica was posting pics on IG from Bar 7 in DC and I’m in Houston. So I guess a convo is def in order when we are back in NY.”
He also added that their on again-off again relationship is “mostly off these days.”
Now, it certainly isn’t unheard of that a relationship would be forged simply for show purposes; however, if they’ve spent any intimate time together over the past few months, there’s a chance he could be the father of this child.
So far, this sounds quite messy but seeing as though Erica appears to live for drama, this is right up her alley.
Since the show is still filming, there’s a strong possibility that we’ll see this whole pregnancy situation unfold right on the show.
Oh Love & Hip Hop, how you do go on…
TV One’s reality show “R&B Divas” was a proven hit last season. One thing that really caused it to stand out among the clutter of the heap of reality shows that television networks dish out is that it was one of the few shows that actually documented the lives of real celebrities. You know, people who were famous prior to being featured on a reality show. It appears that TV One is taking full advantage of that unique aspect of the show and are continuing to build on it. According to a press statement released by the station, they will be building upon that spectacular star power by adding soulful songstress Angie Stone and founding Xscape member, LaTocha Scott to the season two cast. The ladies will be joining the show’s original cast members, Faith Evans, Nicci Gilbert-Daniels, Monifah Carter, Syleena Johnson and Keke Wyatt.
As you may already know, this isn’t Angie’s first reality television experience. Years ago she appeared on VH1′s “Celebrity Fit Club 4″. Since then, she has launched a full-fleged campaign entitled FACE (Fearless African Americans Connected and Empowered), in an effort to “inspire behavioral changes in African Americans, who are disproportionately affected by diabetes,” which is an illness Angie was also diagnosed with back in 1999.
Since LaTocha’s Xscape days, she has acted as the pen behind various songs that appeared on popular movie soundtracks, in addition to launching the Goldyn Girl Foundation, which is an organization with the goal of cultivating self-love and self-esteem in young women. She is currently preparing for the release of her debut solo album as well as penning a tell-all book about her experiences during her time with R&B girl group Xscape.
The two new additions to the cast are sure to mix things up a bit and is certainly a way to add potential drama to the storyline. This is looking like an excellent formula for reality television. I’m sure many are curious and excited to see both Angie and LaTocha returning to the spotlight.
The new season is set to premiere around the Spring of 2013.
What do you think of LaTocha and Angie being added to the cast?
Photo courtesy of WENN
Jazmine Denise is a news writer for Madame Noire. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise
Reality television star Tami Roman is making major moves these days. First, she reappears on the scene looking fabulous with a new slim physique, announcing her partnership with weight loss supplement NV Clinical. And now, according to News One, we’ll be able to check her out every week as she stars in TV One’s new original scripted series, “Belle’s”.
The show’s plot is centered around a widowed soul food restaurant owner and his two adult daughters, following the death of his wife Belle. Tami, who plays Loretta Cooper is described via the show’s press release as “a beautiful, stylish, self-absorbed prima donna with ambitions that alternate between a career in the music business, fashion and finding a rich husband.” It seems that Loretta does not like working at the restaurant and often pretends that she is not an employee. She believes she was destined to be a star, not a waitress. Tami’s co-stars include Elise Neal, Keith David, Ella Joyce and Miguel Nunez.
Roman appears to have her hands pretty full these days, considering that she recently began filming season 5 of “Basketball Wives” as well. She recently revealed in an interview with Tania On The Scene that her role in the television series and her daughters are actually what prompted her to shed the weight.
“They [my daughters] were a big part of it [the weight loss]. They weren’t used to seeing their mom be about 190 lbs. I’m tall so I wear it well, but they were like ‘Mom, you have got to get it together. This is not cute. You’re about to do a new show and “Belle’s” is coming out. You need to represent,’ so I was inspired to just do something,” said Roman.
I think it will be pretty cool to see Tami outside of the reality television setting that we’re so used to seeing her in. Belle’s is set to premiere on February 1st at 10 pm EST.
Check out a clip from “Belle’s” on the next page. What do you think of Tami’s acting? Will you be checking out the show when it airs?
Photo courtesy of WENN
Yesterday, we reported that after weeks of petitioning efforts and much deliberation, Oxygen decided to put an axe to Shawty Lo’s one-hour reality special entitled All My Babies’ Mamas. Many were overjoyed to hear this news, simply because the show was felt to be disgraceful to Black families. But Shawty Lo’s reps are saying don’t celebrate too quickly because this isn’t the last you’ll see of him or his babies’ mamas. Publicist Kali Bowyer told RumorFix that after receiving 123,000 emails from people wanting to save the show, they will be fighting against Oxygen’s decision to cancel the show by launching their own petition entitled Oxygen Network: Put Shawty Lo and Baby Mamas back on the air. As you’ve probably guessed, the petition is seeking to appeal to the public’s emotional side, and somewhat implies that by participating in the cancellation of this show, you are literally hindering this man’s ability to take care of his children. It also went on to question why petitioners against the show would “reject” a father who is there for his kids. They even pulled the race card. A portion of the petition reads:
“It’s a sad day in America, when people attempt to reject a father that steps up to the plate, a father who is actively supporting his children & their mothers , not just monetarily but emotionally as well.
Shawty Lo, is in fact a father figure that most young black men today coming from a similar past lifestyle and environment, should mimic in his parental role. With 11 children, which are all clothed, fed, housed and loved in everyway that a parent should love, protect and provide for their child. As well as being a supportive and active partner in the co-parenting of his children with their mothers.
A man is supposed to take care of his children, and the mother (s), weather it be singular or plural.
So here’s the question, would you rather see 11 children struggle with mothers on welfare? Or watch a man support his children? Does it come down to the race card?
Other networks that currently showcase polygamy, promiscuity, and alcoholism, are on the air, with multiple mothers and magnitudes of children. So what’s the difference? Because Shawty Lo is black and a rapper? Yes, I said it he’s black, ( just in case you didn’t already know ).”
What do you make of Shawty Lo’s counter-petition?
Jazmine Denise is a news writer for Madame Noire. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise.
Just last week we told you guys about controversial rapper Shawty Lo aka Carlos Walker’s coming forward to explain how he managed to father 11 children. Many of you were completely outraged when he somewhat insinuated that the conceiving of so many children wasn’t his fault. “I didn’t ask for it, it just happened,” he expressed to MTV News last week. Well, it seems that the Atlanta rapper may not have learned his lesson yet, as word on the the street is that he could be expecting another child.
Underground rapper Jai Jai and ex-girlfriend of Shawty Lo shocked many when she posted a photo of her protruding baby bump to her Instagram page. Although she has not identified who the father of her child is and Carlos has yet to confirm or deny fathering her child, a source informed The YBF that the All My Babies’ Mamas star is indeed the father. Now of course, so far this is all he say, she say. But, you’ve got to admit that this would be a fairly large bomb to drop during the one-hour special. Jai Jai has not been listed as a cast member of the show, but you never know.
According to Sandra Rose, Shawty Lo and Jai Jai dated for over six years. She is even reported to have gotten into a club brawl with one of his babies’ mothers a few years back.
I’m sure All My Babies’ Mamas protestors are somewhere having a fit right now. One would think that a man who has fathered 11 children would know the importance of contraceptives by now.
Check out a picture of Jai Jai and her baby bump below. What do you make of all of this?
Jazmine Denise is a news writer for Madame Noire. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise
Maybe listing the 15 worst reality shows ever made is sort of stating the obvious. Even the ones that have been on for years (Toddlers & Tiaras, we’re looking at you) are so bad and so ridiculous that we should really be ashamed that we plop ourselves down to watch them. But we do, because in their complete awfulness, hilarity ensues. But which reality shows put more of an emphasis on awful than hilarity? Check out this list.
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There has been much controversy surrounding 36-year-old rapper and producer Shawty Lo ever since word got out that he would be starring in a one-time reality special on the Oxygen network alongside his eleven children and the ten women who mother them entitled, All My Babies’ Mamas. Talk of the show even ignited a petition, which threatened to boycott the network and any companies that advertised during the show because of the negative manner in which it portrays Black women. Shawty Lo recently sat down with MTV News to explain his family’s situation and to clear up any assumptions that the public may have made about him and the number of children that he has.
One of the first things that he addressed was his rough upbringing and how he pretty much raised himself after his mother died from cancer. He shared that he eventually wound living a life of crime as a drug dealer, which is where his children’s mothers entered the picture.
“When the money came, a lot of women came. I wasn’t trying to have babies, but once you know, I was talking to these women and once you feel like this girl was your girlfriend, the rubber probably came off. And a lot of them felt that because at twenty-one I saw my first million in the streets and they knew I was the most popular dude in the streets because I was getting so much money, and they would be like they wasn’t having an abortion. They used to take the money and run with it so they could have a baby by the most popular guy in the streets. So that’s how I had all them kids.”
He went on to express that none of his children were conceived while he was a rapper:
“Ain’t none of my kids came while I was a rapper. All my kids came when I was that dude in the streets.”
The Atlanta native also dispelled any rumors that may imply he doesn’t take care of his children.
“I take care of all my kids. You know, I just have problems out of one that feels because she has two kids out of me, I’m supposed to do more for her kids. She don’t want to work, she just wants me to straight take care of them. But you know, it’s all love. I handle it.”
He also took time out to address the heavy criticism that he has been recieving lately for having so many children.
“There’s a lot of fathers that don’t take care of their one. I deal with eleven [...] You can hate all you want to. I didn’t ask for it, it just happened. Now that it happened, I’m supposed to turn my back against it? If I wasn’t taking care of my kids, then y’all would really dog me out. I’m taking care of my kids. I provide for my family.”
Check out footage of his full interview on the next page. Does Shawty Lo have a point? Although having so many children may not be the most desirable situation, is the fact that he provides for them all really what should matter most?
When news began circulating about the newest incarnation of debauchery called reality television, courtesy of Shawty Lo and all of his baby mamas, a good friend of mine responded with time honored observation, “Negroes stay losing.”
To which I replied that “Negroes stay losing” was actually the original name of the reality series but Oxygen decided to pass for something more politically correct. Somewhere Spike is posted up in a crooked Knicks fitted cap and an oversized matching Knicks bubble jacket saying, well I tried to warn you all in Bamboozled…
Of course, I kid Oxygen Network; but in an era of heighten awareness to cultural insensitivity you have to wonder what effect a program, which caters to the lowest common denominator has on a brand, founded on the guise of providing quality programming for women. And then I remembered “The Bad Girls Club.”
More specifically, Cori Abraham, Senior Vice President of Development of Oxygen Media, said of the upcoming reality television show: “All My Babies’ Mamas’ will be filled with outrageous and authentic over-the-top moments that our young, diverse female audience can tweet and gossip about.” Yeah that sounds about right. You can knock Abraham for his honesty. Controversy, particularly if it manages to feed off of taboo topics such as culturally insensitivities and stereotypes, always seems to perk interest and curiosity. I’m willing to bet that many of those who most disapprove will probably tune in for at least the first episode - you know, just to confirm their suspicions. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the first few episodes not only trends throughout social networking sites but breaks some rating records for the station. Not bad for a network founded on old reruns of “Kate and Allie.”
However, before we all go rushing to sign that Change.org petition to boycott the show just yet. If you can get past the name of the show, as well as the church fan waving at the fact this is indeed a nationally broadcast show about a black man with multiple black children with multiple black women (and trust me, I understand that is a lot to maneuver around), it is not as frightening as image as it sounds. About five minutes into the 13-minute trailer, I thought about how I know people like this. And if I am being honest, my brother, being one of almost a dozen children by one man with multiple women, is people like this. And his situation is not unique. When you stop to really think about it, there is lots more offensive behavior on television than a show about a different type of family structure.
And let’s be honest, 72 percent of black children being raised in single parent households means that there is some kernel of truth to the whole baby mama/baby daddy meme. And so what? Generally speaking, marriage, in its most tradition sense, is drastically falling across all racial lines, declining by 20 percentage points since 1960. According to a study by the Pew Research Center, 40 percent of people surveyed said they believe marriage is obsolete, including 31 percent of married people. Moreover, the younger generation, which is delaying marriage until later in life – if not indefinitely – are much more inclined than their elders to view cohabitation without marriage and other new family forms — such as same sex marriage and interracial marriage — in a positive light.
And as of late, Hollywood has been all about the out-of-the-box family structure. Shows like HBO’s “Big Love” and TLC’s reality series “The Sister Wives,” helped to mainstream the idea of white polygyny. “Jon & Kate Plus 8″ (and eventually Kate and only her eight), normalized big, white families and white, single motherhood. So how different really is a show about a man, albeit black, with multiple children by multiple women?
And in no way am I trying to revolutionize the guy that gave us the great African American musical classic, “Laffy Taffy”. As noted in the post Unclutching my Mother’s Pearls, or Ratchetness and the Residue of Respectability, by the Crunk Feminist Collective:
“When there’s a show about a woman and her ten baby daddies then we can have a discussion about alternate families. Until then, this just sounds like women with few options capitulating to Black male patriarchy.
By-and-large, I believe this is true. But it is also true that I find something fundamentally off-putting about a brother with 11 kids by 10 different women, even though it appears that he supports them all, claims them all, and works to have some level of relationship with their moms. I’m tired of brothers not having to be emotionally accountable for their relational choices. I’m tired of the way patriarchy’s love affair with capitalism sets men up to think that manhood and fatherhood are tied to one’s bank account.
Patriarchy exempts men from having to emotionally grow the Fawk up.”
In the 13-minute preview clip, which has been making its way around the internet, the co-parents in the rapper’s life are briefly introduced by name before being reduced down to labels (i.e. jealous baby mom; shady baby mom; no drama baby mom, etc…). There also appears to be a hierarchy, which offers more comfort to certain children of certain ”baby mamas” than others. However, Shawty Lo doesn’t seem to fair any better under the rigid, constraints of this male-dictated system. In no regards does it seem like fun to be liable – financial or otherwise – to that many people.
Bury The Ratchet: Petition Urges Oxygen to Put An Axe To Shawty Lo’s Reality Show, ‘All My Babies’ Mamas’
Last week, we told you about the Oxygen Network’s latest reality show project entitled, All My Babies’ Mamas, which is a one-time, hour long special that will highlight the life of Atlanta rapper, Shawty Lo as he juggles eleven children and ten baby mamas. Many were outraged that Oxygen would even produce a show such as this one, considering the fact that the network claims their mission is to “release the energy of women to do great things.” And now, a woman by the name of Sabrina Lamb has taken her disapproval for the show a step further as she recently launched a petition via Change.org where she urges the network to do away with the show that “stereotypes and demeans Black children, mothers and dads”.
In the petition Lamb suggests that the network is seeking to profit from the degradation of Black women and threatens to boycott all companies that choose to advertise during the show.
“By pushing these degrading images, your company seeks to profit from the humiliation of girls and women and the blatant stereotyping of African Americans. We think Oxygen and the show’s creators and producers have gone too far and if this show is aired, we will, without hesitation, boycott any and all companies that advertise during this minstrel show,” the petition reads.
So far, the petition has received 3,108 signatures. We most certainly agree that broadcasting a reality show that focuses on a man and his dealings with his ten babies’ mothers is an all new low for the Oxygen network and reality television in general, but whether or not the petition will convince the network to cancel the show is a different story. Some online petitions have proven to be semi-successful in the past, for example the one that was taken up against VH1′s Basketball Wives for the violent acts that were frequently acted out by the women on the show that undeniably grabbed the network’s attention.
Do you believe that the petition against All My Babies’ Mamas will have an impact?