Reality T.V. is an aspect of our society that is frowned upon yet seems to be the guilty pleasure of many. There is a variety of shows, so I understand why a lot of people tune-in. However, I think we get so focused on the entertainment aspect, that we don’t realize what these shows are actually doing. For many people, these shows are funny and the reason for watching is to laugh at the “ratchet” behavior of people or see what these “rich” people will do next. Well, while we are getting a simple laugh, the world is getting a negative view of black people. The world is seeing black people parade ignorance and violence, and then justify it over a glass of wine.
I’m sure some of you are sitting there thinking up a bunch of reality shows where white people have negative portrayals; however those are irrelevant. The issue is not that there are not any negative portrayals of other races, it is that they have a large variety of representations and we do not. Some examples of “white” reality shows include: The Real Housewives Franchise (excluding Atlanta and Miami), Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Jersey Shore, Best Ink, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, and Duck Dynasty. Yes, there is “ratchet” activity on some of these shows but usually it is not the main focus. Furthermore, with the few that do feature ignorance, they are dismissed with casual disclaimers like “those people are simply uneducated” or “under the influence of alcohol.”
Examples of “black” reality shows include: The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Love and Hip Hop, Basketball Wives, Married to Medicine, Bad Girls Club, Black Ink. and T.I and Tiny: The Family Hustle. Most of these shows do not have disclaimers. A lot of the drama that happens occurs between sober and educated business people. More importantly, a lot of these shows were created to showcase negative attributes. This is why almost all of the Basketball “Wives” are divorcees or ex-girlfriends or why Black Ink seldomly showcases tattoos. As a result of this, the first thought when considering these shows is not the cast’s many successful businesses; it is their relationship baggage or dysfunctional families. I emphasize MANY because the truth is, a lot of these reality t.v. stars are successful and talented but these shows do not focus on that.
At the end of the day, these people can let their whole lives be filmed but it is up to the producers and editors to decide whether this show is portrayed as a professional, family show or trash that children under 15 shouldn’t even know about. Even so, we as viewers have the final say about whether these shows will stay on air or if more shows will be made. If we watch, they make money and will keep making more. I will admit that I used to watch reality t.v. faithfully, but once I really started to look at the bigger picture, I had to slow it down.
I wrote this article to get people thinking and discussing what is really going on in our world. We need to think of ways to help create change but also notice, and change the areas where we are hindering our own progress. We can stop watching it altogether or even just work on being a better representation through our everyday lives. Either way, we have to do more! With that being said, Leave a Comment! Share your thoughts and opinions about reality t.v. or any other relevant topics.