Last night, “Real Housewives of Atlanta” Season 5 premiered on Bravo. I was one of many who turned from the inspiring “Black Girls Rock” show on BET to tune into the mud-slinging, cat-fighting and ish-talking that characterizes Bravo’s hit TV show.

The first episode of the season delivered a heavy dose of drama with a series of confrontations between enemies (Kenya Moore and Cynthia Bailey’s claws were out at a casting call for Jet Magazine‘s Beauty of the Week) and frenemies (Kim Zolciak criticized Kandi Burress’ new house, ironically while the former faces eviction). Many viewers laughed, discussed and fervently watched. There was criticism of the characters for their behavior, specifically Kenya Moore, but few addressed the network airing the show.

Roland Martin raised an interesting point, tweeting:

Martin’s perspective is fascinating. When networks that serve black audiences, like TV One or BET, dip their toe in trashy reality television, audiences are quick to chide them for being morally reprehensible. Does the same standard apply to networks like Bravo, MTV and VH1?

Speak on it, Clutchettes. Is there a double standard for black television networks?

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-Jeannine R. Cole

  • Mimi

    There is enough trash on BET, they don’t need RHOA! BET and TV1 should be left to uplift the community. Furthermore, Real Housewives is a franchise, they have groups of women from different races acting a complete ass, so it balances that out some how. I dont know how the other Real Housewives groups would find a home on BET and TV1.

  • Smilez_920

    Yes and no. Tv one does have a similar show to “RHOA” it’s called R&B Divas. I think we hold BET to a higher standard because they represent themselves as being the ” eye into black culture and life”. To me that’s a big tittle to hold . BET has the opportunity to display black culture form all differnt , levels and perspectives , yet they choose to represent it in one very narrow way. I wouldn’t have a problem with BET showing RHOA as long as they had well scripted/ reality shows to go along with that line up, that didnt follow the same theme.

    Also Bravo and VH1 are reality tv show networks that haven’t chosen to represent any specific race, culture or sex. If you have a hit reality show idea that will make them money, they don’t care if your yellow , purple or orange.

    Remember what BET stands for , Black Entertainment Television. If they don’t want to hold any weight with the black community , then change the name of the station, and the stations mission statement. But if they don’t want to do that, be better than your competitor stations and show a variety of black programming , anything from RHOA to “Awkward Black Girl” .

  • I got sense!

    “I was one of many who turned from the inspiring “Black Girls Rock” show on BET to tune into the mud-slinging, cat-fighting and ish-talking that characterizes Bravo’s hit TV show.”


    I don’t watch any of these trash shows. I started out watching BBW because I thought it was going to be something MUCH MUCH different than what it is. I assumed this because of Shaunie’s reputation of class. Ha, I was wrong. I haven’t watched it since the first season.

    THE ONLY REASON THESE SHOWS STILL EXIST AND MORE ARE ADDED TO THE ARSENAL IS BECAUSE PEOPLE KEEP TUNING IN. If people really wanted it to end it would. It’s all talk as usual for most black people. Just stop. You don’t need to petition or blog or write the network. Just stop tuning in. At the end of the day these shows want viewers and as long as people watch (whether for entertainment or to criticize) the ratings continue to go up.

  • bornliberian

    kenya is so beautiful by sight, but when she opened her mouth she exposed how inscure she is within herself. i believe there is a difference between telling it like it is and, telling it like it is. she did not tell it like it is. she projected her own inscurities on those young ladies.not cool!!

  • Lorri

    I think Roland is right. We watch, and watch, and watch trash created for us even when it doesn’t show us in a good light. I know, it’s not me it’s them acting a fool, but we would be up in arms if it was on BET. I sincerely think we’ve gotten accustomed to the bad tv shows so it doesn’t affect us as much. I did watch RHOA last night and my mouth was open wide as Ms. Kenya. But she would still be the same kookie-bookie if it was on BET. Go figure.

  • Misshopkins

    When it comes to trash about us and for us, in the words of Rev. Jackson, we’re “insult proof.” We watch loyally with a weird twist of fascination, discuss, and an eager anticipation toward talking about it the next day. Stop the madness, stop the viewing, and stop needing the weekly fix of being reassured that “WE” have more class than the big-mouth, foul mouth, big butt women we love to watch. If you’re insulted by the millions Andy (who almost cannot contain his glee) and Bravo make from this just a step above plantation drama….vote with your feet and let the sponsors figure out how else to keep the white RHOA entertained with these reinforcements of what we’re really like!

  • Blaque217

    I personally don’t care if a show comes on a “Black” network or not, if it’s entertaining, I am going to watch it. These women don’t represent me, I REPRESENT ME. But more importantly, I don’t look at shows like Real Housewives, Basketball Wives, etc and think “these woman are being portrayed as loud, angry, and out of control”… I think the women of reality TV are being portrayed as human. People can trip and try to act like they never get angry, they never say things they shouldn’t say, they never stab their friends in the back or whatever. But I know if a someone followed me around with a video camera 24/7 they MIGHT see me lose my temper, they might see disagreements with me and my girlfriends, they might catch me saying or doing something that I’m not proud of. It’s life. These women weren’t cast to be role models, they were because they make good TV.

  • E.M.S.

    I have an idea, how about we don’t air ridiculous shows like this at all in the first place?. They’re the reason why society has such a negative image of black women, whether we are well off or living paycheck to paycheck we’re assumed to be just like them: ghetto, messy, and with no class or home training.

    How anyone can stomach even one episode of anything of these housewives shows is beyond me. We need to be better.

  • Drew-Shane

    Roland and his tired ascot can have a seat! \_

  • Liyah D.

    All these reality shows exploit people of all races and genders who are acting a fool! I just wish that people would stop complaining and change the channel….

  • Jay Cee

    Look closely. Kenya looks like a hardened man.

  • Leo the Yardie Chick

    I don’t like/watch reality shows, so it doesn’t matter to me if BBW was shown on TVONE, BET, ABC, LMNOP, whatever. If you hate shows like these, then stop feeding the beast.

  • Ms. Information

    She is a beautiful woman with an ugly heart and soul…sad

  • Blue Violet Grey

    I think, in the far off future, people are going to look back on the “wives” phenomena like we look back on Amos and Andy today. And posterity will chide us and think we were silly, just like we do to black lovers of Amos and Andy today,

  • jourdan

    I agree that there’s a double standard in there somewhere. Some Blacks feel that if White people are on board with something, that makes it less ghetto or more acceptable. I don’t feel we should need that validation. In their defense, BET does try to do better programming. And I think TVOne has good lineups. But it’s something about the “ratchetness” of today’s reality shows!

  • binks

    Exactly! I don’t think it is a double standard for one I use to love Vh1 back in the day before it became reality/trash Tv

  • Joy

    It’s just ENTERTAINMENT folks. Nothing more; nothing less. A reality show doesn’t alter our universe

  • Joy

    If only more people would realize that the housewives are acting. Surely people don’t think this is their true/real personalities. They are paid to create drama. If the show was boring no one would watch. Duuuuuuuh!

  • Sweetles

    The problem with this sort of” reality” programming is that it perpetuates the same stereotypes that many of us are running from. Some of the same people that claim that these shows are just entertainment are the ones getting offended when other races of people, even our men, are claiming that these depictions are indicative of how all black women act. Reality shows can “alter our universe” when people believe these caricatures to be true on a large scale, and treat you differently because of it. There are no shortage of people that believe that all black women are neck rolling, finger snapping, loud, and always ready to throw down women. These shows continue to dehumanize and demean us despite the progress we as black women think we’ve made.

  • Love Sosa

    I saw a girl on twitter claim that she watched this show on vh1 and wouldn’t watch it on bet due to “bad lighting”.

    I was so shocked at that being the reason that all I could think was how dumb she was. Especially being a graduate film major, I was like you don’t know a thing about lighting. That answer was clearly yanked from her ass.

    I don’t care where the show airs, these shows are dumb and make not only the women, but the men in them look like trash.

    Some of the women on housewives, ballers, bad girls, all these shows are so pretty too. It’s just after seeing them on these shows, no amount of money would get me to date them. Much less put a ring on it.

  • Downsouth Transplant

    Joy, I get your point, but if i carry your trail of thought it means most people are for sale both physically & morally, some prices are too high a cost. I srly refuse to believe that for a check, a well balanced individual will trade their morals. Now if the morals were lacking to begin with, then it is a whole different cow:)

  • marloweovershakespeare

    What made you turn from Black Girls Rock to RHOA in the first place? That’s what my inquiring mind really wants to know.

  • Beautiful Mic

    Yup, these shows, specific entertainers. don’t support them, don’t give them free promotion by discussing their shitty work. Instead, join media awareness groups that work against all the buffoonery on the grassroots level, or start your own group.

  • Overseas_Honeybee

    Flatline ____________
    *TIME OF DEATH – 2 seconds after reading @Drew-Shane’s comment about Ro Ro and his Ascot. LOL!!!

  • Leo the Yardie Chick

    Oh yes, I remember those days. *sigh*

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  • Shawnie

    I don’t feel ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’ is a representation of African Americans; just like ‘Jersey Shore’ or the ‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey’ are not representations of Italian Americans. I love to watch these shows because they are a break from reality (pun intended). I was talking about the new season of ‘RHWOA’ with my co-worker from DISH, and we are both excited for the new season. I really liked the first episode, although I think there is something strange about Kenya Moore I’m going to keep watching. I’ve already set my Hopper from DISH to record the rest of the season, and with all the DVR recording room I’m going to record my other favorite ‘Housewives’ shows without using up much space. We should just take these shows at face value, and if you don’t like it you can always change the channel.

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