Recently, Kandi Burrus sat down with Hello Beautiful to discuss the Real Housewives of Atlanta, her new reality show the Kandi Factory, and how Black women are portrayed on reality TV.

Although the Real Housewives of Atlanta is a fan favorite, many have been critical of the way the women are portrayed on the show. The Atlanta cast–with their catfights and cuss outs–have become the most popular Housewives series, but many wonder if they promote a negative portrayal of Black women.

According to Kandi, it’s unfair to criticize the ladies for damaging the reputation of all Black women because they are just representing themselves.

Kandi told Hello Beautiful, “Before I even joined the show everybody was talking about how it brought down the image of black people and black women. But I always tell people when you come on a reality show you’re not trying to represent for a whole race, you’re just doing you. You hope people think you’re interesting and people like it.”

While Kandi admits that there is a fair amount of stereotypical neck rolling and finger popping on the show, she argues it’s unfair to hold the Atlanta ladies to a higher standard than their White counterparts.

She continues, “Yes, it does play into the stereotype of what people say black women are with the neck rolling, finger popping or whatever but I don’t feel like it’s any different than the New Jersey Housewives where it’s mostly Italian Americans on there. What they do on that show? It’s a lot of hot headed Italians on that show but I don’t see their communities saying “ Oh, they’re not representing us Italian Americans correctly or they’re not representing white women correctly.”

Kandi attributes the criticisms of her show, and others, to Black folks being overly critical.

Kandi laments, “I feel like we as black people can be very critical of our own race and I don’t even think it should be a thing of ‘How are they representing us?'”

 

What do you think? Do you agree with Kandi or should networks be forced to offer more diverse images of Black women and not just rely on old stereotypes? 

 

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  • Val

    I generally like Kandi but I think this is a cop out. Like it or not when you are apart of an unfavored minority group those with a high profile do to some degree represent the group. Should it be that way? No. but that’s the way it is.

    And she uses as an example the Jersey housewives. I guess she hasn’t read about Italian Americans complaining about that show and Jersey Shore. So it’s not just us being critical. Other groups criticize as well.

    • Mimi

      She’s definitely wrong about other groups not doing the same to other ethnicities. UNICO has come down HARD on Jersey Shore. That’s what got me to watching it because I was so surprised that a group other than blacks had someone saying that they were being portrayed in a negative light. You know, criticism of everything on tv usually is just reserved for us.

  • d_nicegirl

    What Val said. I have read and heard many criticisms of the Jersey shows from Italians.

  • Trini

    “Kandi laments, “I feel like we as black people can be very critical of our own race and I don’t even think it should be a thing of ‘How are they representing us?’””

    I must say I do agree with that! Under no circumstances could a handful of women EVER represent an entire race. That is absolutely ridiculous!

    Oh and theres a word for when someone is judged solely based on the actions of others…PREJUDICE.

  • chanela

    wellll unfortunately in this country we dont have the luxury of being judged as individuals. so yes. when there are few black women on tv and in movies and those few shows/movies feature NOTHING BUT ghetto,trashy,childish black women then what do you expect people to think??? its sad when people congratulate me everyday simply because i’m “well spoken” and “different from the rest”. gee, i wonder how they figured all black women are loud and ghetto???

    the bad girls club is full of ghetto loud and ignorant white women…but turn to any other channel and you see positive benevolent white women. turn to any channel with a black woman and its ” oh no you di int! gurl we bouts ta fight!”.