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Based on the ratings, I am sure I might be a lone wolf on this one, BUT what is it with the loud talking, stereotypical angry, bitter black woman portrayed by the character NeNe Leaks on the Real Housewives of Atlanta?

As you can tell, I am not a fan of the show however while channel surfing, I landed on Bravo and NeNe was involved in a heated discussion with Dwight Eubanks. She was properly placed face to face yelling and screaming, pointing her finger in Dwight’s face while pushing and forcing him into a corner. However, five minutes prior to this exhibition, she stated that she was part of the upper echelon of Atlanta possessing both style and class (my descriptive words not hers).  I am confused. I don’t know if I am more perplexed by the simple, trashy, classless behavior that is betrayed on this show or the fact that it has so many viewers which makes it the number one show in the Housewives franchise.  What is that about?

First let me speak to women as a whole: WHY do you support this foolishness? These types of shows spotlight the worst side of female relationships: back biting, jealousy, envy, cat fights, phoniness, etc. Why do you support that type of image being portrayed before millions to see? These shows are not entertainment. This isn’t a drama, a sitcom or a movie. These are not fictitious characters. These are real human beings with children, families and real lives outside of the camera. What kind of example is this nonsense setting for our youth, especially our young girls?

Now let me speak to African American women- WHY?  Why are you supporting this? The Atlanta housewives set African American women back by portraying negative stereotypical behavior. Shows of this nature can easily be compared to a minstrel show.

Wikipedia defines the minstrel show, or minstrelsy, as an American entertainment consisting of comic skits, variety acts, dancing, and music, performed by white people in blackface or, especially after the Civil War, black people in blackface. Minstrel shows lampooned black people as ignorant, lazy, buffoonish, superstitious, joyous, and musical.

As you can see, there is very little difference between the minstrel shows and  the buffoonery of the action of these women i.e. fighting in restaurants, yelling and causing a scene at private functions, yelling and screaming in office buildings  all for the sake of the camera.  The only major difference is that in the minstrel show, whites portrayed blacks in a negative manner. On the Real Housewives of Atlanta the women portray the stereotype themselves. They are constantly living up to the misconception and negative stereotype that African American women are angry and bitter.

When do we as women, especially African American women, rise up with pride, dignity, integrity, character, and a moral compass to say enough is enough? With so few shows on television that spotlight an entirely African American cast, why are so many people supporting this degrading, dehumanizing franchise? As “actors” of “reality” shows, the participants should take a stand and say that we will ONLY portray positive images in order to set a positive example for our youth, especially our young ladies.  I honestly don’t fault the shows producers because they are just giving the audience what they want. I look to the viewers. Unfortunately the more that people watch this type of programming the more shows of this caliber will be produced.

The Atlanta Housewives is so popular that it has an international following. Imagine if an individual from another country never met an African American woman. And the only two images that they will ever see are of  First lady, Michelle Obama and the Atlanta Housewives. Is that the dichotomy we want portrayed? I surely hope not. In my opinion, women have endured too much, why is it okay for people to be entertained to our detriment. We have fought for our rights in every area. And we have worked too hard to get to where we are today. When do we say, enough is enough? When do we stop supporting this foolishness and demand quality television that shows women in a positive light?

We the viewers have the power. Studios are only producing what they think we want to see. Remember the one with the remote control RULES! I beg of you, please change the channel. Let your voice be heard. Let’s demand better quality programming.

Thanks for hearing my point of view! Have a great week!


Written by: Judi Mason for

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