I’m a tad indifferent to all the backlash “Basketball Wives” has been receiving lately and though I’m not totally sure the show has to go off the air entirely, one thing that I know needs to end for certain is Tami Roman’s tired excuse that the drama we see is totally the producers fault and not any of the cast members’.
Tami is clearly trying to keep her job and making a sad appeal to minority entrepreneurship with comments she’s made about the recent boycott movements against the show. She recently told Sister 2 Sister magazine:
“I think that the opposition to call for the show to be cancelled will end the employment of several African-American women who have no creative control. Why not call out the people who make the decisions about what is aired. Call out Shed Media. Call out VH1 because I will join that battle. Why call for several people to be unemployed that really have nothing to do with the creative process?”
Well, Tami I think I have that answer for you. It’s because despite not having any creative control, you and your cast mates keep signing up to be made a fool of onscreen. Unless the producers created a 2pac-like hologram of the ladies, the people we see fighting, slapping, and drink throwing are actually them, and yes people are frustrated with VH1 for exploiting it, but I think most people are mad at the fact that the creative team was even given this type of material to exploit in the first place.
The somewhat-reformed basketball wife goes on to spit that same line about wanting the same thing as the public when she says:
“I come with my storyline and things that I want to introduce and lo and behold what they want to show are those dramatic moments. There is more to us.
“What they are seeing is a part of my personality. I’m not trying to take back my actions, but that’s not who I am all the time.”
I understand the point she’s trying to make (again) but at some point you have to be accountable for what you sign up for. I think that was my issue with Jennifer’s lawsuit. Four seasons in these ladies are still acting like they don’t know how the show works. I’m not saying anyone signed up to be assaulted for good ratings but if Tami and whoever else she claims have tried to present different story lines to VH1 know that the network is going to “misrepresent” them, why keep coming back? What’s that saying about being the change you want to see in the world? I’m sure Tami needs a source of income as a single mother, as do the other ladies who don’t quite have careers per se, but if these ladies were really worried about how they were portrayed on the show they would threaten a walk out and demand that the network tell the full story about who they claim to really be. I’m pretty sure we’ve already seen that for the most part though. Tami claims a walk out could in fact be her next move but I’m doubtful. She told the magazine:
“I have thought about leaving. I would love to see a season 5 where VH1 and Shed Media are called out to show more positive things that we’re doing and show us how we are 90 percent of the time, instead of how we are 10 percent of the time. I would love to see the brand in and of itself go out on a more positive note.”
That means the onus is all on them. Since Tami claims to have changed her ways and regretted the situation where she had an altercation with Meeka Claxton last season, why not school your girl Evelyn and tell her to have a seat next time she talks about sending a b**** every time she sees her? That type of hypocrisy is the other issue I take with Tami’s statement and even Shaunie’s last week. How is it that this behavior bothers you when you watch the show from home but you’re cool with it when it’s going on right in front of your face? These ladies act as though VH1 is holding a carrot on a stick above their heads telling them to put on a minstrel show once they say action. Maybe Evelyn does feel like that’s the case and that’s why she’s acting up so much this season but, again, if there is no violent foolishness going on, the producers have none to record, edit, and release and that is something these ladies have control over.
I could respect Tami for saying look, this is how I get down, it is what it is, and not caring about her reality TV persona but playing both sides of the fence just doesn’t work here. If this was the first season of the show she might get a pass but at this point she and everyone else knows what the show is about and if you still choose to participate and give the producers what they want then the problem is you and them.
What do you think about Tami’s damage control attempt?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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