by Nigel Boys, NaturallyMoi.com
Reality TV shows have become very popular, both in the U.S. and around the world. The shows producers have found that it can be very profitable. But one type of TV show named “Ratchet” reality shows have drawn some negative comments from various organizations.
One of the leaders in the fight to change all of this is Sil Lai Abrams, the relationship expert for Ebony.com. Sil Lai has created an organization called TruthinReality.org, which is determined to confront the negative imagery of black women presented on reality TV shows. Many of these images lead young women to bully one another in school and often paint a picture of women of color as spiteful, nasty and over aggressive.
Change.org has lodged several petitions to have some of the “ratchet” shows stopped. Other critics say reality TV shows are “garbage” and “poisonous” to people’s minds if they become attached to them. On the other hand, some say it’s just TV or entertainment and should not be taken so seriously. The shows become “guilty pleasures” for millions of fans, many of whom will not publicly claim that they support the shows.
The point is these shows couldn’t and wouldn’t be made if people didn’t watch them. So the real question is “why do we watch them?”
Besides Sil Lai Abrams, who has been arguably the most consistent public fighting on the issue, there are others who stand by her side. Sil Lai writes about these women in Clutch Magazine:
KELLY SMITH BEATY: Wrote an article, “Will the Real Black People of Atlanta Stand Up,” published on the Huffington Post. The article was a huge success, and argued against the negative imagery of Black women in Atlanta being portrayed in some shows
MEEKA CLAXTON: Filed a suit against the Vh1 network. She was attacked on the show by Tami Roman, a fellow cast member. Her lawsuit was taboo because the network felt that caste members should be willing to endure physical abuse without complaints.
SABRINA LAMB: She sent a successful petition through Change.org that got the show “All My Babies’ Mamas” off the air. The show was going to feature the rapper Shawty Lo and his 11 babies’ mamas on the Oxygen Network.
MICHAELA ANGELA DAVIS: This urban culture writer and activist, formerly the Editor-in-Chief of Honey magazine, spoke up about how the “ratchet” shows are destroying the image of Black women. Her latest campaign, “Bury the Ratchet,” concentrates on changing the image of Black women in Atlanta.
Thanks to these four women and others, the portrayal of black women in America and around the world might become consistent with reality instead of the contrived ghetto fantasy that VH1 executives are trying to present to the world.
“The goal is to get the spotlight off the ratchetness and on the successful women in Atlanta,” Davis said. She went on to say, “The first image that comes to mind is mean, gold-digging women. It has become completely evident that there has been a brand of women from Atlanta that are adverse to what most of these women are like.”