For six seasons, Ariane Davis was a supporting player on Love and Hip Hop Atlanta, moving amongst the drama without actually being fully involved in it. She could be peacemaker or instigator. Compared to those who had to fight or be involved in love triangles to get their check, she maintained her privacy while still being interesting enough to warrant being brought back season after season.
The stunning socialite quietly exited the series in 2017 and would eventually leave Atlanta for Los Angeles to pursue bigger and better things. When speaking with friend Melyssa Ford for her podcast I’m Here for the Food, Davis opened up about the toll reality TV takes on those who partake in it, including her former cast members. She said some would go to great lengths to secure screen time and a check, only to feel bad about the way they’d allowed themselves to be portrayed.
“I think when you don’t go in with a sense of, ‘I’m going to stay in control no matter how big or small my role is,’ you’re going to get f–ked up mentally,” she said. “If you’re not mentally prepared going into it, and you don’t have people around you that’s mentally helping you prepare, then yeah, you’re going to fall by the wayside. And I can say that firsthand, from people that I’ve worked with on the show, there were times off-camera, tears in my garage. For hours they would be crying. I’m not going to name specific people but there were times where I literally had someone tell me, ‘I sold my soul to the devil.'”
“It was trying sometimes for me too, but I always knew my stance,” she added. “Y’all couldn’t threaten me with sh-t about not being in a scene or not getting paid because my mental health meant more to me, my integrity meant more to me, my morals. My mother and my grandmother were watching the show. I didn’t care about all of the in and outs of what everybody else cared about. They really didn’t care at a point. It was like, ‘No I have to get paid. I have to be in this scene. I have to work.’ No you don’t. Not if it’s making you feel like sh-t in the bottom of your stomach. It’s okay to say no.”
Davis said that a lot of LHHATL cast members who came and went would feel obligated to go to such lengths because of bad contracts they signed. She had a good lawyer so things played out differently for her. She was able to set some boundaries, and if you noticed, keep her personal life away from cameras unlike the vast majority of main and supporting cast members.
“I drew the line. I mean more to me than that show does,” she said. “Again, my sanity means more to me than that show did. Even losing friendships, I still mean more to me. I didn’t want to go down that road.”
She would eventually leave the show at a time when producers wanted Davis, who is bisexual, to share more about her personal relationship. This was a gripe that her former cast mate and BFF Mimi Faust shared about being hounded to put her own relationship with Ty Young on TV. And while Faust took a pay cut to avoid doing so, Davis decided it was just time to go.
“It was mutual for my exiting because I wasn’t going to give them anymore than I was already giving,” she said. “At that point, that storyline was getting old. So I think, it was them wanting more from me and me saying, ‘oh hell no.’ It did have something to do with pay, but also, you couldn’t pay me enough to bring my personal life on this particular show. You don’t know the work I’d been doing to save my relationship. To be rehashing things that unbeknownst to them that we worked through, yeah, nah. It wasn’t worth it. Because nobody had to go home with us but us. I chose that over anything because it just wasn’t worth it.”
Davis isn’t the first cast member to share that they left their particular Love and Hip Hop franchise to protect their image and sanity. Hit the flip to see a few more.
After appearing on the Atlanta franchise with son Waka Flocka and daughter-in-law Tammy Rivera, Deb Antney said she came to realize that the way they portrayed Black men and women on the series was problematic.
“It’s very disgraceful for women,” she told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It makes our men look horrible. I’m just not for it. I’m not for the drama like that.”