All Articles Tagged "VH1"
Can I be honest with you all? I love having the opportunity to rehash some of these crazy moments! When I did my first list, I tried to limit it to only 14, but I had so many of them! There were also some that you all added in the comment section. So, if you’d please, let’s look at a few more. I hope you all enjoy!
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.
A woman named Asabi Barner has filed a lawsuit against Black Ink, the tattoo shop featured on the VH1 show Black Ink Crew. She went to the tattoo shop in Harlem, New York to have a tattoo she received at 18 covered up. Since covering up the tattoo, Barner’s skin has developed keloids on the left breast, the same area where part of the new tattoo was placed. Her lawsuit claims Black Ink was reckless, careless and negligent, and the reason she has the large scars.
What is a keloid?
A keloid is an area of irregular fibrous tissue formed at the site of a scar or injury. A keloid is a type of scar but unlike other scars it does not subside over time. It is a tough, thick scar that rises above the rest of the skin. There is no known reason for why people develop keloid scars. They usually appear after trauma or injury to the skin but can also appear without trauma or injury. Keloids develop most often on the chest, back, shoulders, and earlobes. They seldom develop on the face (with the exception of the jawline).
Who is prone to developing a keloid?
According to research, people of African descent are seven times more likely to develop a keloid scar than our European counterparts. Although people with darker skin are more likely to develop them, keloids can occur in people of all skin types. In some cases, the tendency to form keloids seems to run in families.
Unfortunately, tattooing can also lead to keloids because of the trauma caused to the skin by the needle used. Barner may never have had a keloid form from her other tattoos or piercings, but as I previously stated, the chest is an area prone to developing keloids. I am not a tattoo artist, but the size of her previous tattoos may be why she did not experience any keloid formation. The tattoo that she received from Black Ink was rather large (a chest plate) and involved more trauma to her skin which, unfortunately, formed a keloid.
Treatments for keloids
These are some of the current treatments for keloids. They may or may not get rid of the keloid and the discomfort that may come with it, and sometimes the treatments can cause a larger keloid to form. Please visit a dermatologist and discuss options with them before proceeding.
- Cortisone injections (intralesional steroids): These are safe and not very painful. Injections are usually given once every four to eight weeks into the keloids and usually help flatten them. However, steroid injections can also make the flattened keloid red by stimulating the formation of more superficial blood vessels. (These can be treated using a laser; see below.) The keloid may look better after treatment than what it looked like before, but even the best results leave a mark that looks and feels quite different from the surrounding skin.
- Surgery: This is risky because cutting a keloid can trigger the formation of a similar or even larger keloid. Some surgeons achieve success by injecting steroids or applying pressure dressings to the wound site for months after cutting away the keloid. Radiation after surgical excision has also been used.
- Laser: Pulsed-dye lasers can be effective at flattening keloids and making them look less red. Treatment is safe and not very painful, but several treatment sessions may be needed. These may be costly since such treatments are not usually covered by insurance plans.
- Silicone sheets: This involves wearing a sheet of silicone gel on the affected area continuously for months, which is hard to sustain. Results are variable. Some doctors claim similar success with compression dressings made from materials other than silicone.
- Cryotherapy: Freezing keloids with liquid nitrogen may flatten them, but it often darkens or lightens the site of treatment.
- Interferon: Interferons are proteins produced by the body’s immune system to help fight off viruses, bacteria, and other challenges. In recent studies, injections of interferon have shown promise in reducing the size of keloids but it’s not yet certain whether such results will last for the long-term. Current research is underway using a variant of this method, applying topical imiquimod (Aldara), which stimulates the body to produce interferon.
- Fluorouracil: Injections of this chemotherapy agent, alone or with steroids, have also been used to treat keloids.
- Radiation: Some doctors have reported safe and effective use of radiation to treat keloids.
I am not an attorney but in my medical opinion Ms. Barner cannot blame Black Ink for her keloid. Instead of seeking out a lawyer, I think she should go to a dermatologist, preferably one that has had success removing keloids from Black skin. I will continue to watch how this story unfolds. If you have any other questions about keloids, please Ask Dr. Renee.
Dr. Renee Matthews has appeared on WGN’s “People to People” where she discussed different health topics. She started her media career with her own radio show on ReachMD, a programming source for health professionals. In addition, Dr. Renee has been a featured medical correspondent on Sirius XM’s “Sway in the Morning.”
Since Tiffney can’t seem to marry The Game, perhaps his celebrity friends can set him up with women for another reality show on VH1. Sound too messy to be true? Well, it’s happening.
Just today, the network sent out a press release confirming the new one-hour weekly series starring The Game as he embarks on his national summer tour.
Despite the fact that he was professing his love to Tiffney in February, saying he wanted her back, the rapper is now looking for a new woman. And he hopes to find her being turning the reigns over to some other people.
We all know The Game from his hit VH1 series “Marrying The Game” as an amazing father as well as family man, that goes without saying. But what we don’t know is if there is a woman out there that would satisfy him enough to slow him down. In the past we’ve seen him give being a family man his all, but sometimes in life and love other cards come into play. Now, in the new series “She’s Got Game,” The Game sets out in pursuit of his perfect love match while he embarks on a national tour. The 10-episode series is slated to premiere summer 2015.
Tired of picking the wrong women, in “She’s Got Game,” Taylor turns to his celebrity friends to see who can help him most when it comes to matters of the heart. Each celebrity will select a young woman to accompany Game on his national tour. But which women will succumb to the not-so-innocent rock star lifestyle, and which will have his back and ultimately win his heart?
The Game aka Jayceon Taylor also serves as one of the show’s executive producers.
We already know this is gearing up to be the hottest of messes, but will you watch?
It absolutely breaks our heart to report this news.
Ahmad Givens, a.k.a Real, one half of the brother duo of VH1’s Real Chance Of Love has died after a long time battle with cancer. His brother, Chance, confirmed via Instagram that Real lost his battle.
By to my favorite guy in this whole world be in peace we love you forever bro I’ll see you one day soon we shall dance again in God’s kindom forever and ever bro words can’t describe my pain world pray for me!
Real was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in 2013. Real underwent surgery and things were looking positive, but earlier this year the cancer returned. He began chemotherapy treatments again but they however, did not work.
Our heart and prayers are with Chance and the rest of their family.
I thought, with the announcement that VH1 wrapping up “Sorority Sisters,” that the drama behind the show would have died down. But apparently, tensions are still running high. Just a few weeks after Alpha Kappa Alpha announced that both April McRae and Rwanda ‘Joy’ Hammond were suspended from the sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, is following suit with one better. They are not suspending all of the Delta castmates, they are expelling all members who participated on the show from the sorority entirely. That includes, Adrene Ashford, Priyanka Banks, Shanna McCormick, Lydia Mitchell, and MeToya Monroe.
The notice was posted on the sorority’s national website.
Here are the receipts.
Remember how Priyanka Banks spoke about the fact that she considered renouncing her letters in “The Dialogue”? Well, not it looks like she won’t have to. Expulsion, as you might assume means she is no longer a Delta. The website lists the meaning of expulsion in full below.
All rights and privileges as a member of Delta Sigma Theta Inc. are rescinded for all individuals listed in this section of the website.
What Does That Mean?
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.’s Marks are the exclusive property of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. The right to wear, use, or display any items or merchandise with any Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Marks (“paraphernalia”) is granted to those in good standing only.
Therefore, all individuals listed in this section must refrain from wearing any paraphernalia or using any merchandise that includes references to Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., its symbols or logos. Wearing or using Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. paraphernalia is knowingly engaging in fraudulent misrepresentation and impersonation, i.e., conveying that you are a member of the organization.
Furthermore, attending “Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Only” activities or otherwise engaging in any conduct or activities that indicate membership in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is prohibited. Should any individual fail to abide by the aforementioned guidelines and/or fraudulently misrepresent her status as a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., you will be subject to legal action taken against her by the organization.
For those of you who know your history, January 13, the day the ladies were all expelled also happens to the be the 102 anniversary of the day Delta Sigma Theta was founded. Perhaps DST didn’t inform the ladies of their expulsion until sometime in the evening because several of the members posted statuses, videos and pictures celebrating their founder’s day.
The ladies have yet to speak publicly about their expulsion…and judging from the guidelines outlined above, legally, they may not be able to.
But there were these messages from Metoya’s Instagram account.
One from January 14, the day after the expulsion:
And another from January 16:
These messages could refer to any thing or anyone…but they do seem pretty timely and quite classy, given the nature of the situation. Shanna McCormick also posted some pretty timely messages.
Am I the only one that feels the expulsion was a bit harsh…when there have been other members who’ve done far worse? I can’t help but see this as women being punished for nothing more than being argumentative and perhaps catty on television. And it’s particularly odd considering during the season finale all of the women put ego and attitude aside to come together to do something good for the community. To me, that’s just life. Getting over our differences, egos and flaws for the greater good. There are some people who never manage that. But these women did. How does that warrant expulsion? Personally, I don’t get it. You don’t have to be Greek to understand sisterhood. And expelling instead of instructing, correcting or privately scolding would have been more sisterly than publicly ousting members. But that’s just my opinion. What do you think about the expulsion? Do you think it’s fair or too much?
Update: Lydia Mitchell was catching some serious flack from “super Deltas” as she called them. They were attempting to kick a “sister” while she was, presumably, down. See what they said and what she said in response to them and anyone else with concerns on the next page.
The final episode from season one of VH1’s “Sorority Sisters” may have aired, but apparently, the controversy continues to linger. Although it has been assumed that VH1 would not continue with the series after airing the final three episodes Friday night, both the network and cast member Cat Harper, whom we had the privilege of speaking to, say that a decision has not been made regarding the future of “Sorority Sisters.” Check out our chat with Cat below.
MN: What are your thoughts on some of your cast members being suspended from their sororities over the show?
Being suspended does not mean that you are no longer apart of that organization. No matter what happens, people will still view you as being apart of your sorority, especially after being on this show. We will always be sorority sisters. Being suspended is just like your mom saying “you’re no longer a member of this family.” It’s no possible way. You can’t suspend relationships, experiences or what’s a part of you.
MN: Did you also face disciplinary action from your sorority?
No, I personally haven’t.
MN: Do you feel betrayed by the Black Greek community?
No, at the end of the day they have no loyalty to me and I have no loyalty to them. We are all individuals that are just apart of an organization. If I based my life everyday off of what I felt the Black Greek community thought about me, I would be putting them before God.
MN: If you could do things all over, would you have still signed on to do “Sorority Sisters?”
Yes, I never regret anything I do in life. With my life’s history, everything I do leads up to bigger and better. This was a part of my journey that was meant for me in order to fulfill my purpose.
MN: What are your thoughts on K. Michelle’s disapproval of the series?
K. Michelle’s approval or disapproval doesn’t matter to me. She’s entitled to have her own opinion about the show or anything in life, just like everyone else. She’s not the only celebrity sorority/ fraternity member that has not represented herself in the “perfect Greek eye.” We’re all human and sometimes, I think that’s a part of life that we sometimes forget. This show has just opened my eyes to see how hypocritical us Greeks could be.
MN: How did you learn that VH1 would be canceling the series?
According to VH1, no decision has been made about the future of the series just yet, but assumptions have been made. Rather or not, this was just a stepping stone for something greater.
MN: Some of your cast members expressed that they received death threats over the show. Did you also receive threats?
I did, and unfortunately we’re still receiving derogatory messages from Greeks that didn’t approve of the show. The Greek community was so concerned about “Sorority Sisters” showing Greek life in a negative light. They were correct, in the fact that they showed how negative the Greek community could be, in a way that I could have never imagined. Who knew that sororities and fraternities based off of Christian values and moral principles could allow a TV show to bring so much evil, hate, and risk the lives of my sisters in Greek.
MN: Did this experience help to unite you and your cast members in any way?
Absolutely, they are great women. I don’t know about the people who you know but these are some beautiful, phenomenal, and educated women. My cast mates consist of educators, business owners, those that are furthering their education past a B.A. and community-oriented women. We have grown closer throughout the taping of the show. Unfortunately, we’ve grown even closer due to the negativity from the Greek community. For the first time in my life’s history, I’ve actually seen some “real” Greek unity as a whole. Unfortunately, it was due to these trying times.
MN: After all of this, have your feelings changed at all towards Sigma Gamma Rho? If so, how?
Not at all. When I pledged Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc., I pledged that Sigmas stick together, win together, lose together and die together. That means that no matter what we will always be sister’s. If I was to change my opinion about my sorority off of just this reality show, I would be just as hypocritical as the others who have.
MN: Any last thoughts?
I would just like to say that, this is not the end for me, this is only the beginning. I’ve opened my photography studio during the taping of this show and I’ve continued to further my acting career also. Because I’m so passionate and determined in everything I do, I can only see positive outcomes. Last but not least, it feels great to be able to express myself and give my point of view. I’m so grateful for this interview. It is so greatly appreciated.
Exclusive: April McRae Of “Sorority Sisters” Talks The Backlash, The Suspension And The Death Threats
Lord, it seems like we have been talking about VH1’s “Sorority Sisters” for months now. The story just kept getting bigger and bigger. First there were petitions, then hashtag campaigns, advertisers were contacted and then, in VH1’s special “The Dialogue,” we learned that the ladies had even received death threats. Most recently, there were two AKA suspensions and earlier this week we learned that VH1 was canceling the show. In the midst of all of this there were think pieces written on both sides of the argument and probably plenty of beauty shop discussions. But rarely, with the exception of “The Dialogue” have we heard from the women themselves.
And that’s exactly why after we learned of April McRae and Joy Hammond’s suspension from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, we reached out to the ladies to see if they had any thoughts they’d like to share. April responded and we talked about everything from why she decided to participate in the show, whether she ever thought about renouncing her letters like Priyanka Banks, and the very real death threats.
How did VH1 initially present the show to you?
Basically, it was about our lives beyond the sorority, our life beyond college. These are women who are professional women well in their careers. It was our life after we pledged our sorority. And they wanted to see how we’re doing things in our community. We’re all doing philanthropic work. You’ll see in an episode coming, where I do a charity event for two nonprofit organizations that deal with mentoring youth and mentoring teens and giving back to teenagers that are homeless and children that are in need of clothing and things of that nature. So you will see community service, you will see philanthropy. Things that I pride myself on day to day as being the daughter of a pastor in a church and being a member of a Greek letter organization. So that was the purpose, to show that we are still doing these things that we hold near and dear to us. And we’re also pursuing our dreams in business. You know, I’m a clinical doctoral candidate of speech pathology and I’m a few months away from graduating with a clinical doctorate. So those are aspects of my life that were very interesting to the network. Because I am a full time student but I’m also a businesswoman who has two businesses and I mentor young girls. So these are true realities of my life that they wanted to share with the world. Just like all the girls have very interesting lives.
Why did you initially decide to participate?
To take my business to another level as far as being the owner of House of Couture and being a budding and aspiring fashion stylist.
Did you feel that the show veered off from its original course at any time?
I think with any show there will be challenges. I think that there will be things that come about with filming. And it’s not anything that I can say I personally have control over. So it is what it is.
Did you foresee any controversy about your appearance on the show?
I didn’t. I was on the show representing myself and speaking as April McRae, not anyone else.
After Boycotts And Loss Of Major Advertisers, VH1 To End “Sorority Sisters” Early By Airing Last Three Episodes On Friday Night
People have been in such a tizzy about “Sorority Sisters” since it premiered last month. But it looks like all the anger and the action people took to get advertisers pulled must have worked. VH1 plans to air the final three episodes of “Sorority Sisters” in one night, and not even in the show’s normal Monday night time slot. No, the show will meet its end in what they call the “Friday Night Death Slot,” or the “Graveyard Slot.”
According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution and VH1’s own TV schedule, “Sorority Sisters” will bow out late Friday night. The last three episodes will air at 9:30, 10:20 and 11:10, with the finale being the last episode and finishing up at 12 a.m.
Most VH1 shows have a big reunion, or at least a lot of promotion surrounding a finale. But considering that “Sorority Sisters” didn’t even premiere with much promotional backing (because they knew Greeks would flip out if forewarned), it’s not all that surprising.
And when you take into consideration the number of black Greeks who worked together to contact and successfully dissuade a great deal of advertisers, from Kellogg’s Cheez-Its, Crayola and Jimmy Dean, to the big kahunas, including Honda and the NBA, it’s definitely not a shocker. There is strength in numbers. And of course, networks need advertisers to keep these programs going, and according to the AJC, the loss of backers seems to have a great deal to do with this move.
However, VH1 did fight pretty hard. They had that special show where cast members could address the fallout. And recently, they claimed that because ratings were pretty good for “Sorority Sisters,” they weren’t backing down and canceling the show:
“There are currently no plans to change the series and it seems to be connecting with its audience. Due to the confidential nature of our agreements with our advertising partners, we never speak to specifics about clients and their media plans. But we do enjoy successful, long-term partnerships with our advertisers and are happy to honor any requests to move spots to other parts of our schedule.”
But as the AJC pointed out, until VH1 says so, this doesn’t mean the show is done for good. However, after all the trouble, is it really worth it to try and bring it back in the future?
The saga that is “Sorority Sisters” continues. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc members April McRae and Rwanda [Joy] Hammond have been suspended from the organization. The notice of their suspension was posted on the sorority’s corporate website and later tweeted out by several individuals, public figures bloggers and more, including public figure and notorious Alpha Roland Martin and oddly enough, retweeted by former Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams.
The story managed to go under the radar because the women were effectively suspended on the day after Christmas and will not be eligible. The suspension is set to last until July 2016.
According to another member of AKA, a suspension means that these women no longer have privileges as members and are basically considered inactive. Suspended members are not allowed to attend chapter meetings, sorority events and shouldn’t claim membership until they are reinstated.
Neither April or Joy have responded directly to the suspension but April has posted some pretty telling, inspirational messages, presumably, about the suspension. See what she had to say.
Naturally, every organization is different. Some have stricter rules than others but I do find it interesting that members of other Greek organizations got into physical altercations on practically every season of their show on the same network and were never even questioned, not to mention punished, for their behavior.
Interesting. And honestly, I feel sorry for April and Joy. Simply because it’s impossible for an individual to represent an organization and equally impossible for an organization made up of thousands of women to maintain a spotless reputation in the eyes of all people for all time.
But with AKA taking this type of stance I guess it will be hard for these women and other prospects to both participate in “Sorority Sisters” and also keep the letters that make them eligible to be a part of it.
Nice to know the Black Greek Lettered Organizations have this much power. It’ll be interesting to see what they direct their efforts toward in the future.
What do you think about this suspension? Was it fair?