All Articles Tagged "reality tv"

Lawsuits And Left Hooks: Reality TV Scandals We Didn’t See Coming

August 11th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

When a particularly scandalous reality TV show hits the airwaves, it’s time to sit back, grab some popcorn and wait for the scandal you know is coming. And while we know that with reality TV comes drama, these real-life scandals still caught us by surprise.

Is Reality TV Ruining Our Humanity?

July 3rd, 2015 - By Kendra Koger
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

I know, I know, I’m one of the main contributors on MadameNoire who write posts on reality television.  I do.  I still actively watch all of the reruns of the “Flavor of Loves,” “I Love New Yorks,” “Rock of Loves,” “Laguna Beaches,” and a few others that aired while I was in college.

But, as I’ve gotten older, and the participants have too; I have to be honest, reality television has lost part of its appeal for me.  Besides “Real Housewives of Atlanta” and a few guilty viewings of “Love and Hip Hop” New York and Hollywood, I don’t really care too much for most of the current shows out now.

I would like to think that it’s maturity that has squelched my reality television appeal.  I honestly believe that that’s part of it, but I feel like an even larger part of it is when reality television becomes real and reminds me that we’re watching actual people, not actors.

That became abundantly true for me when the Duggar Family’s scandal broke.  Before it became public, I remember my youngest sister telling my family about how rumors had been swirling about Josh Duggar for years.  According to someone who claimed to be a church member, there was an old online post about him confessing his misdeeds to his church before being sent away for “help.”  After that, she declared never to watch the show again. But since the show continued to air, I think people just didn’t pay attention to the rumor.

Fast forward to this current year, when the truth revealed itself.  As heinous of a crime as this is, what’s hard for me to wrap my mind around are the people who have wanted to keep the show on the air.  Not out of solidarity to the family, and not for wanting to be in denial about the rumors, but because this family was their entertainment.

I read comment sections that expressed things like:  “Well, just because he did, why do we have to suffer by them taking the show off the air?”

Those types of comments reminded me of the tragedy that changed the course of VH1’s reality show line-ups.

In 2009, Ryan Jenkins, who was a contestant on VH1’s “Megan Wants A Millionaire,” and the defunct season of “I Love Money 3” committed suicide after a warrant was put out for his arrest for the murder of his then-wife Jasmine Fiore.

VH1 decided to not air “I Love Money 3,” and I remember being appalled by some of the comments in the section for it.

There were comments like:  “I mean, I understand that her family doesn’t want to see him, but why do the rest of us have to suffer?  They don’t have to watch the show.”

Sometimes it seems as though when you blur the line of entertainment and reality, people lose sight of the fact that these are real people, who have real lives.  If a show needs to be cancelled or put on hiatus, our focus shouldn’t be on losing our entertainment.

Most people wouldn’t want the difficult times or the fallback they or their family faced documented and then dissected through the world.  They don’t want the person who wronged them to be backed by a population who questions their innocence because they don’t want to miss their favorite show.

There seems to be an essence of lost humanity that comes when we become attached to a reality show.  I feel as though people stop feeling sympathy for the participants because “they decided to be on this show and broadcast their lives.”  However, some of the tragedies that happened were before or away from the glare of the cameras.  Though these people have introduced you into their lives for a few moments a week, never forget that at the end of the day, they are a person, just like you.

Exclusive: Sara Stokes Speaks On Da Band’s Exclusion From Bad Boy Reunion, Domestic Violence Allegations

July 2nd, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Sara Stokes

Courtesy of Sara Stokes, Jay Productions

Sunday evening, fans were treated to a special Bad Boy Entertainment reunion performance. Acts that were never expected to share a stage again reminded us why we were screaming “Bad Boy for life!” back in the early 2000s. However, there were also many acts that were not included in the reunion such as Craig Mack, Total, Carl Thomas and Da Band. We were recently able to catch up with Da Band member Sara Stokes, who shared her thoughts on the reunion, domestic violence allegations made against her, time spent behind bars and her new reality show “From The Bottom Up,” which airs on BET this fall.

Sara Stokes "Sneak Peek"MN: We hear that you have a new single coming out. Can we expect an album as well?

I definitely have an album coming out. The single will be released July 11th and it’s called “Sneak Peek.” It’s featuring Babz. Babz was obviously on [Making The Band 2] with me. Everybody knows Babz. She killed it. She has 16 bars on this song, so I’m excited. It shows more of a sexier side. It’s that women’s anthem. You have to know that you’re the sh-t. If you don’t know who you are, who the heck else will?

MN: Did you and Babz keep in touch after Da Band or did you recently reconnect?

We’ve always kept in touch, everybody in Da Band. They’re like family to me. We all went through some crazy stuff. There were like three seasons of “Making The Band 2.” We lived together. It was definitely an experience that I’d never take back, and I love them all like they are my family.

Babz will also be coming through on my new show. “From The Bottom Up,” produced by Nicci Gilbert, James DuBose and Queen Latifah. Look out for that. It’s going to be on BET this fall. It’s a docu-series, and it’s more about positivity. I’m tired of the negative overshadowing everything.

MN: I read on our sister site, Bossip, that the BET cameras were literally waiting outside for you when you were released from prison.

Yeah, that’s true. As soon as I stepped foot out into the world again, it was like lights, camera, action! What the heck? But you know, it was part of my story, and I’m glad that they captured that. That’s real, raw emotion, me stepping out for the first time and just seeing my children, my parents and everybody else that I love. I was like, ‘Wow, this is amazing.’ I had a different insight about everything anyway. When I came out, I heard violins, an orchestra, everything.

MN: How long were you in prison?

It was two and a half months I was up in there. Two and a half months of me, myself and I. Talk about that. You really, really find out who you are when you ain’t got nobody else but yourself up in there. I feel like it made me a better person. Sometimes, you do need to sit down for a minute and figure out what you’re trying to do in life. Like, ‘Okay, if this is not working out right here and this is messing stuff up, let me try it this way.’

LisaRaye Shades The Hell Out Of Reality TV Standing Right Next To Mona Scott-Young

June 29th, 2015 - By Brande Victorian
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LisaRaye has never been one to hold her tongue and we saw that first-hand on the red carpet at the BET Awards when we asked her about her recent remarks on the double standard Black women face in society. We asked LisaRaye what she thought could be done to change the status quo and that's when the "Single Ladies" star basically said as long as Black women are on reality TV acting a fool, things will never improve. The irony of it all? Standing less than a foot away from the actress was the godmother of ratchet reality TV women, Mona Scott-Young, and LisaRaye cared not. Watch the footage in the video above. What do you think about what LisaRaye said?

Guess Which ’90’s Tv Star Is Joining The Real Housewives of Atlanta?

June 26th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Real Housewives of Atlanta

Source: Splash

Whether you remember Kim Fields as Tootie from “The Facts of Live,” or better recall her as wig-wearing Regine, reports are trickling in that the veteran actress is set to be the new cast member on Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.”

Well…

Now, we know why Claudia Jordan got the boot.

Sources have confirmed exclusively to Perez Hilton that Kim is coming on board.

There’s no word from Kim Fields yet about whether or not the news is true but we’re kind of on the fence with this casting decision.

On the one hand, we’re interested to see how she’ll interact with the other ladies but we’re also afraid that she might get sucked into the mess and drama.

And we would absolutely hate to see one of our faves go out like that.

Either way, good luck to Kim and we’ll keep you posted.

Will you be tuning in for season 8? What do you think about Fields’ decision to join the show?

You Have Less Than 2 Months Before Evelyn Lozada Is Back On Your TV Screen

May 26th, 2015 - By Brande Victorian
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Source: OWN

Source: OWN

If you’ve just gotten used to the fact that we no longer see Evelyn Lozada living la vida loca on “Basketball Wives” every Monday night, you’re in for a rude reminder. The reality star is quickly returning to a TV near you as the Oprah Winfrey Network has just announced the air date for her upcoming docu-series — a fancy name for another reality show — which has gotten a name upgrade: “Livin’ Lozada.”

We first heard this show was in the works back in March. At the time, the series was announced under the working title of “Evelyn,” but along with the official series name and air date of July 11, the network has also updated the show description as follows:

“Livin’ Lozada” follows the lives of Evelyn Lozada, of “Basketball Wives” fame, and her 21-year-old daughter Shaniece. Evelyn has moved on from the heartache of her highly publicized divorce in a big way. She is engaged to big league baseball player Carl Crawford and the happy couple have a one-year-old son, Leo. Between learning to be a mom all over again, setting up a new home in Los Angeles for her and her family, working on getting the sequel to her first book published, as well as dealing with issues surrounding her family back East…Evelyn has a lot going on!

Not to be outdone, her daughter Shaniece, has a blossoming modeling career and is working on starting her own bikini line, looking to her mom for advice which she (sometimes) takes. Each episode is filled with close friends and relatives in the ladies’ lives who help round out a world filled with laughter, support and encouragement as we follow Shaniece carving out the new life before her and Evelyn moving on from her past and embracing the new life she has found.

Should be interesting, if for no other reason than to see Leo’s cute little self on the screen each week.

“Livin’ Lozada” will debut at 9p July 11 on OWN and will be followed by the return of the popular docu-series, “Flex and Shanice,” at 10 pm. Will you be watching either series?

RHOA Rewind: ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’s’ Most Cringe Worthy Moments

May 4th, 2015 - By Rich
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Photo Credit: BravoTV

There has been no shortage of drama on this season of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. From Apollo’s prison sentence to Kandi and Todd’s never ending issues with Mama Joyce, the Bravo reality show has done more than deliver. But last night’s episode was filled with so many awkward moments and namedropping (ahem, Roger Bobb), we almost lost count. Almost. Hit the flip to see the most cringe worthy scenes from the latest RHOA and get a sneak peek at some of the turmoil taking place next week.

RHOA Rewind: ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’s’ Most Cringe Worthy Moments

Serious Question: Should Mona Scott-Young Have Been Included On Essence’s Game Changers Cover?

April 28th, 2015 - By Cynthia L. Dorsey
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Ava DuVernay, Shonda Rhimes And More Cover Essence

Essence

There is nothing like seeing someone who looks like you on the cover of a magazine. Beautiful Black women, all shades, and hues, lending their testimonies of struggle and success. That is why I felt an extreme sense of pride when I saw the May cover of Essence magazine. When I picked up the magazine, smiling back at me were five of the most prominent Black storytellers, directors, and producers who have the added bonus of being amazing women: Issa Rae, Mara Brock Akil, Debbie Allen, Shonda Rhimes and Ava Duvernay, dressed in all white. I immediately flipped through the pages to read the article.

Over wine and cheese in Beverly Hills, these women discussed everything from the increase in the number of young people of color in the business and the positive effect it’s having on mainstream television, to the strain success has had on their personal lives. I could feel the camaraderie and respect amongst these women through the page. It was inspiring.

After I had read the article, I turned on the television, and on came Love & Hip Hop Atlanta. Out of nowhere sprang an interesting thought. I could not help but to wonder if there is room for Mona Scott-Young at the table with her fellow Black storytellers and producers?

Mona Scott-Young is the founder and CEO of Monami Entertainment. Under Monami, Scott-Young holds both film and television credits. Her most popular production is the Love & Hip Hop docu-series on VH1. The franchise is the top-rated show on VH1, with the season 4 debut of Atlanta pulling in 6.2 million viewers, marking the show’s highest rated season premiere yet.

It seems that many people have a love-hate relationship with Scott-Young. They hate the content of the Love & Hip Hop franchise, deeming it “ratchet television.” However, there has to be something people love about it because they keep tuning in every week. Within right, people are always questioning Scott-Young’s motives and why she would produce a show where Black women are portrayed as stereotypical characters who are violent, argumentative, loud, oversexed, and belittled by men. In an interview with MTV’s Sway, Scott-Young said that these women “have every right to tell their stories. I think they’re valid stories, and judging by the numbers, they’re stories that people want to see and hear about. But if this is not your cup of tea, there are other great shows on other networks that you may view as well.”

And she is right. There are other great shows on other networks to indulge in. Two of my favorites are ABC’s Scandal, written by Shonda Rhimes, and BET’s Being Mary Jane, written by Mara Brock Akil. Both ladies, as previously mentioned, graced the May cover of Essence and were touted as “Game Changers.” Scandal chronicles the turbulent life of Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), Washington’s most prominent “fixer.” One major part of Olivia’s storyline is that she is having an affair with the President. Affairs seem to be pretty popular on television these days–just watch the first season of BET’s Being Mary Jane. Mary Jane Paul (Gabrielle Union) has a lucrative career in broadcast journalism and this past season, she landed the prime time anchor position on her network. Yet at the height of her career, Mary Jane finds herself single and feels that the only way she will be complete is if she gets married and has children. Mary Jane, like Olivia, in an attempt to move past a very married admirer, explores a sexual relationship with several different men. While their lives are a bit on the messy side, we tout them as complex characters. Real women.

But are characters like Olivia Pope and Mary Jane Paul also perpetuating some of the same stereotypes and negativity about Black women that Scott-Young is accused of showcasing? Are the women of Love & Hip Hop just as complicated as these two beloved protagonists?

Akil, like Scott-Young, is unapologetic about including the sexuality of black women in her stories. In the Essence article she states, “We’ve been presented before as asexual or as whores. No, I’m a human being. I’m a human being, and human beings were made to be touched and have sex so that they can make more human beings. That’s just how it works. I certainly want to highlight it. I want our humanity in our sexuality.”

Rhimes agreed with Akil and said, “I just began a systematic push that we were going to talk about sexuality equally, in the same way. We’re not going to pretend that…Listen, if you could shoot someone in the face on television…I hope to God my child never shoots someone in the face, but I really hope she has wonderful sex.”

This systematic push is evident in all of their shows, and even in Scott-Young’s programs. These women have chosen to tell the stories about Black women as authentically as they know how without allowing the burden of stereotypes to deter them from creating work they feel is necessary. Rhimes, Akil, and Scott-Young both manage to monopolize their perspective networks in a predominantly white male industry. That, in and of itself, should be commended.

Don’t get me wrong. I am disheartened by some of the women’s choices on Love & Hip Hop. Moreover, being a part of a Black Greek Letter Organization, I could not bring myself to support Sorority Sisters, a program Scott-Young was allegedly tied to at some point in time. However, even though I may disagree with some of her content, it does not lessen the history she is making on television.

As Akil said, we — Black women and men — are human. We make mistakes. We are not abnormal. We are not strange. Some of us go off to college and become successful in our careers while others may remain loyal to the ways of our ‘hoods. We are doctors, lawyers, and scientists. We are also strippers, drug addicts, and adulterers. Just like every other race, we are full of complex and very different people. Because we are ridiculed and stereotyped so much we try to hide and cover up those members of our community whom we feel don’t represent us well. However, no matter which category you may fall into from those looking from the outside in, as an individual, you do not fit in a box, and your story deserves to be told.

So should there be room for Scott-Young at the table (or on the cover) when discussing Black women who are making strides in telling our stories on film and television? Absolutely.

Would You Go On She’s Got Game? Reality Dating Show Secrets You’ll Want To Know

April 22nd, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Columbia TriStar Television Distribution

Image Source: Columbia TriStar Television Distribution

Reality dating shows have been a TV staple since The Dating Game. If you have watched them over the years, you will be still surprised to discover these behind-the-scenes secrets from some of your favorites.

Raising a Teenage Girl in a Ratchet World

April 20th, 2015 - By Rich
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Feature Image: GossipOnThis.com

Whenever I thought about being a mother, the teenage years were never what I pictured. On the rare occasion I day dreamed about kids it was always as the cute baby or young child. I don’t think it ever occurred to me that those same babies (or baby) would become (a) teenager(s).   Now it’s the 21st century and I am the mother of a teenage girl. As if the term teenager isn’t frightening enough along with raging hormones and junior high/middle school relationships I now have to contend with a myriad of distractions and influences that my parents, and theirs before them, never had to consider. Screen time, cell phone usage, eating habits, grades, and cyber bullies, BOYS, and… the rise of the ratchet girl.

Coming up in the 90’s “hoodrats & hoochie mama’s” were all we heard about in the prevalent gangster rap & that was slowly taking over the airwaves and we thought it was all so cool thanks to movies like Boyz N the Hood, Menace II Society , Above The Rim and several others of the same variety. But at the end of the day, we went home and turned on The Cosby Show and A Different World so while the images were there, they weren’t as pervasive as they are now, nor was the message. But then the birth of the million dollar video came about as did the ‘video chick’ caricature and the further exploitation of black women and their sexuality was laid bare for the entire world to admire, admonish, debate over and imitate.

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But the rise of the ratchet girl has been stratospheric in the last year and to be honest, I’m sick of it.

It’s not just the images shown in the media, it’s also the clothing sold in stores and how it’s styled on mannequins over sexualizing girls from an early age, and in magazine articles aimed at ‘how to get your crush to notice you’ and ‘are you kissable?’ (Seriously who’s approving this for tweens?) . It’s also shows like Love & Hip-Hop whatever, Basketball Wives (who aren’t really), Bad Girls Club, Teen Mom and the list goes on.

Portraying these women and their lifestyle as some type of  aspiration and allowing them to gain celebrity notoriety  because of their bad behavior on television and in the media sends a message to young women that the more you act out the more you’re rewarded by society.

And this mama don’t play that. I’m not raising a teenager to be the baddest b*tch. I’m intent on raising a young woman who will grow into a queen that’s going set the world on fire. It also sets the standard that they need to be overly dramatic to be considered interesting or to get their point across which couldn’t be farther from the truth.

But how do I maintain an active presence in her mind without being overbearing? And how do I keep my daughter from becoming enthralled by the ratchet girl lifestyle she sees all around her?

So while we’re still new to the teenage game we’ve got a few rules that we govern our house by to keep her on the right path and keep the ratchet from taking over.

 

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  • Teach her she is more than her body but she is also not limited by it. This includes her hair and what she wears. When your mom writes about fashion for a living you get a little leeway in the clothing and hair department, but I still have rules and have no problem enforcing them. This also includes keeping the lines of communication about sexuality and those awkward topics open for discussion and consideration.
  • Monitor her social media access as well as phone and apps. It may sound like spying but I’d rather not be caught unawares if anything happens. Just because she has access to social media does not mean she gets to be “out there”. It is private, monitored and limited so we feel pretty good about this one.
  • Parent like its 1999ish. Seriously. A lot of new age mothers are excited for their daughters to become their ‘best friends’ and I’m like no ma’am. I have my own friend’s thank you and until you are of age I am your parent, not your homegirl. We kick it old school when it comes to parenting and have no problem being the ‘uncool’ parents of the group.
  • Investigate her friends. Junior High/ High School is not like elementary school where you often see the same parents at school functions and daily drop-off and pick-up. Kids make new friends everyday so yeah, I check out their online presence to see if the image they project to me is the same they are portraying to the outside world and if not how far they are straying.
  • Educate her about her ancestry and where she comes from not only within your family but as woman of color. Teach her about the world in which she currently resides and the one that preceded her existence so she is able to learn from both experiences and chart her course accordingly. Family reading is something we can all benefit from and there are a number of anthologies by African-American authors that paint a beautiful picture of the past and there is a lot to be learned from others experiences and stories that you can’t get from a TV movie.

We realize that as you go through life you try on different personas to see what fits and a lot of times as a teen, those personas don’t jibe with your parent’s vision of you. I get it, I was a teenager too, and we encourage self-expression and creative thought, but  we also aren’t in the business of encouraging society’s’ values over our own.