As we told you from the list of things we took away from Iyanla Vanzant’s work with Jay Williams, we’ve been pretty invested in following the story of this man and his 34 children by 17 different women. Turns out, so have you, because the final part of his “Fix My Life” special brought in the show’s biggest ratings since last November. Williams has received a lot of criticism for bringing so many children into the world that he knew he wouldn’t be able to be fully present for. And when Williams contacted Vanzant with his story, she told Sister2Sister that she initially didn’t want to touch it with a ten-foot-pole because she knew it would require a lot of work, more work than she could fit in 60 minutes (make that around 45 with commercials) of television.
“I wouldn’t have done the story if I only had one episode.”
But she was moved. Vanzant says that it was the loss of his 35th child that really pushed Williams to want to do better, so after working to get a multi-part special on Williams, Vanzant got to work.
“In his mind that was like a message from God that you need to look at your kids. And I think in his assessment of his children, he realized that he wasn’t having a good relationship with his children and their mothers and he wanted to do something about that.”
And even after three episodes of trying to get down to the bottom of Williams’ issues, Vanzant says there is still more work to be done. More so for the mothers who were on the show and the women who watched it at home who entertain similar drama with the men in their lives.
“What we’re doing is, I want to have a conversation with the women because that story was about Jay, and his background and his interaction with his children and his relationship with the women. But I want to understand the women. What were they looking for? How did they allow a penis to come between us? I think that’s a conversation that requires some attention because their situation is not unique either.”
Vanzant tells us that while Williams’ story was hard to hear, we should all watch the things we say about him.
“I think that when we’re on social media spewing that negative energy, that we forget that the people we’re talking about have children, have parents, have sensitivities and have issues. People aren’t on ‘Fix My Life’ because they’re living at their highest potential.”
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