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In less than a month “Being Mary Jane” will return to BET and the series’ leading actress, Gabrielle Union, is already busy promoting the show’s Jan. 7 premiere. This past weekend during a press junket at Art Basel, the 41-year-old beauty opened up about the drama and expressed why she believes that it’s so much more important than just another television show. According to Gabby, shows like “Being Mary Jane” have to reverse the damage caused by Black and Latina-targeted reality shows.

“Oh my goodness. Not only do women need it, you need to see that women can work together, they can be a team together, they can have a friendship together and they can have conflict but conflict resolution doesn’t have to be disrespectful and crazy. We show conflict resolution that is compassionate and respectful. Black Women and Latinas need to see ourselves accurately on television without it being this, you know violent unfortunate cat fight & crabs in a barrel,” she told Natasha of The YBF.

She went on to address the fact that many reality shows are unauthentic.

“But the reality is that reality TV is not real. I know a lot of these women and that’s not who they really are. They are edited and produced in a way. And the conflict is manufactured and we all are sort of consuming it as real. We start to believe that black women can’t be friends with other Black women and that Black women can’t be friends with Latinas and that’s not the everyday truth,” she continued.

Gabby also discussed how she’s able to relate to the show’s protagonist Mary Jane Paul.

“The desire to be perfect but falling short. Not giving myself a break in terms of, like, it’s ok to not get it right all the time. It’s ok to fall short. Certainly in my youth, I didn’t always make the best romantic decisions. A woman searching for it all and trying to figure it out.”

Do you find that shows like “Being Mary Jane” and “Scandal” offer an accurate depiction of Black and Latina women on television?


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