Jas-Fly-Gossip-GameWhen VH1 released the trailer for “The Gossip Game,” we shared our fear that the show would end up another reality program centered around fighting and drama. After the first episode, we couldn’t help but be turned off by the focus on catty conflicts when what we truly wanted to see was dynamic professional women shining in the male-dominated hip hop industry. The last episode proved that fighting is a re-occuring theme in the series as we watched women engage in animated back-and-forth for the second time.

Many blame the fighting on the producers, specifically Mona Scott-Young. Castmates of her other VH1 show, “Love and Hip Hop” like Chrissy Lampkin, have even gone on record saying some of the conflicts on screen were orchestrated by Scott-Young. In most narratives lamenting the depiction of black women on reality TV, the producers are labeled as the ones to blame.

But Jas Fly, a freelance writer and castmate on “The Gossip Game” wonders if we should look first at the fighting in our own lives instead of complaining about how we’re portrayed on reality shows.

She writes:

“Sometimes, we as Black women don’t treat one another very well. Societal factors have made us defensive and (often times) insecure about who we are and afraid of who we are not. We’ve been told that we’re all in competition over men, jobs, friends, adoration, etc. And because we are such an insular culture – Black woman are known for watching/dating/buying/talking/living in our Blackness – we turn a great deal of frustration back on one another. We’re so hyper-sensitive to criticism (because we’re SO over criticized) that in the moment we often can’t discern between someone attacking us and someone trying to help us. It’s hard to see kinship in someone you’re determined to make your enemy. So (often times) we fight.

I couldn’t get mad at Mona for the fights that happened between Drama and Viv. Not when I was dealing with the very same things (via toxic email threads, vicious sub-tweets, subversive moves against me etc) in my own life. Mona didn’t make those two women fight. In that moment, instead of risking being hurt or hearing something they didn’t want to, they chose to antagonize one another. This choice is made every single day. And I couldn’t expect Mona to create a television show about us and ask her not to show all of it, including the parts we’re not proud of.

So we can continue to complain about how we’re portrayed on television. Or we can candidly address how we treat each other in real life.”

Jas Fly raises an interesting point: if some of us allow backstabbing, name-calling and fighting to thrive in our personal lives, can we blame reality show producers for reflecting this on camera? What are your thoughts on her perspective, Clutchettes?

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  • whenever black people fight one another, the white man wins….

    • Uncle Tom

      You ever notice with white people how if a white person does something messed up, white people don’t stick up for them? You’ll be hard pressed to find a white person who will stick up for Charles Manson or Hitler, but in the black community there always seems support for the likes of O.J. Simpson type characters or Trayvon Martin’s because they’re black and because they went after white folk. That’s the problem right there.

    • Ads

      Whaaaaaaat? OJ murdered his wife. Trayvon was an unarmed child who was shot and killed at close range. There’s no ‘character’ type that includes these two.

  • Kim

    Maybe part of the reason Black folks are lost is because we keep including folks who are not us in the discussion. There where not two Black women fighting on that show. There was one.

  • I don’t think the issue is that reality TV depicts conflict. The issue is how the conflict is shown. We do “fight”, as JasFly mentioned, but hardly ever do we as professional women fight in public settings by yelling at and cursing each other out and making threats of a** whippings. At a night club after a few drinks? Maybe, still a little unlikely. At a professional networking or charity event? NEVER! That is NOT reality. A subliminal tweet, nasty email, or maybe a verbal confrontation IN PRIVATE seems more accurate. There is also a lack of balance. Just as you show the conflict, you should also show the grind and the hustle. Very little of that is depicted, and when it is, it’s often somehow disturbed with yet another loud and ignorant fight. People need to stop trying to justify this. There’s an OBVIOUS imbalance, with ratchetness weighing the bulk.

  • I watched “The Gossip Game” because the ladies are writers, bloggers and radio personalities. I thought to myself, a show about the business, yes! I could not wait to see women talk about the industry and how they made a name for themselves. Even if they did not give away secrets at least give a show to give other women something to aspire to.

    Unfortunately, its the same ole same ole – drama a full proof formula for reality shows. I am patient so I am hoping to see what I am asking for, fingers cross.