Sil Lai Abrams Leads the List of Black Women Fighting Against Reality TV Stereotypes

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by Nigel Boys,

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  Sil Lai has created an organization called, 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. 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 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 DAVISThis 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.”

What's Your Thoughts

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  1. Aaliyah

    March 6, 2013 at 8:07 am

    I love this. I hope the influencers (Oprah’s, Shaunie O’neals) were involved in this change as well. I also believe it would be nice for black men to get involved as well. If influential relevant men get involved in the campaign it would be a success. I believe that these women act in this manner b/c they believe this is the way you have to act (if you are not a celebrity) to get a “good man.”


  2. KeepBothBarrelsLoaded

    March 6, 2013 at 8:15 am

    This is great! You have my support

  3. KeepBothBarrelsLoaded

    March 6, 2013 at 8:31 am


  4. Herman Hawkins Jr.

    March 6, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Let’s get rid of not only “ratchet” shows but the entire medium. This garbage, and that includes talent shows like “American Idol” and contrived drama like “Survivor” and “The Bachelor” is what I call “McDonald’s” programming, which is as cheap as the food that chain produces, and it is just as bad and harmful. Networks make millions off this garbage and like McDonalds thrives on the ignorance of the public that consumes it.

  5. Chris

    March 6, 2013 at 9:35 am

    I am a ‘class of 1969’ Afrikanamerican man and I detest these negative images of my sisters (and brothers). I don’t watch any of this garabge because of the imagery. I have been married to the same Beautiful woman for 45 years and she and her female friends are not represented by this tv junk. They are caring and responsible women who place GOD in their social relationships and understand what LOVE is. You can’t treat others with such disdain and disrespect and still respect yourself or live the Word of Jesus.

  6. Barbara

    March 6, 2013 at 11:35 am

    I am totally in support of ny sisters fighting this garbage that’s intended to destroy the positive image of Black women worldwide. First, they used the ghetto Blacks to mock us; now they are going after the “professional image” of Black women with this Medical show. They have these professional women acting like ghetto trash.

    They have akready desecrated the image of Black men and women with the Jerry Springer and Maury Povich shows. Think what we could have done to prevent this if we had launched an effort of protest earlier.

    Do you see such negative shows of Jews presented by Jerry Springer and Maury Povich?

    We need to go after the people who are behind the scenes, also the Advertisers.

  7. rosemary davis

    March 6, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    Hopefully they will fight too keep Basketball Wives L.A. and Miami off the air because they do not represent the majority of black women already reportedly their has been a ruckus in the filiming of Basketball Wives Miami so keep the petitions going

  8. Onesilverbac

    March 6, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Most who see this review and the comments are not the source of the problem. It’s the low information under educated blacks who tune into these shows and believe that it’s real world. It is not!

    So until we are able to reach out and touch the masses of un informed Black people, it’s like blowing smoke in the wind.

    If we were to recognize the power of our dollar we can make changes, a quick and easy change would be to the Black comedians, why is it you can’t tell ajoke with out cursing and the vulgarity! That does not have to be the norm. Sinbad is very funny and entertaining, never swears!

    Next we go on to the TV programming, It’s not true to life, it makes us look like fools. Don’t watch! Please do not allow children to sit in front of the TV watching this type of programming

    • Jonathan E. Hines

      March 8, 2013 at 8:06 pm

      4 who can find a virtuous woman? Proverbs 31:8-31
      … Who has not lost her beauty by debasing herself with phallic and ithyphallic oral and profane/perverted conduct 4 the love of money and the lust 4 money/mammon?

      Stop the IMMORALlot.try and save the black family!
      B not beguiled or turn tricks 4 mammon that is of the creature from antiquity. For GOD IS not mocked by the deadly b.O.o.T.Y. Call of oralLOT.try not beguileLOT.try!

      the plantation seer

  9. Sil Lai Abrams

    March 6, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    Thank you for all of your feedback. It is truly appreciated! Please consider showing your support of the Responsible Reality TV movement by signing our petition and recruiting your friends to sign via Facebook. Your voice counts…make it heard!

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  12. Cynthia Davis

    May 9, 2013 at 12:52 am

    I have been looking for someone like this to share my opinion on this matter for a minute now. First of all we are in a recession. I don’t see a problem with people that most likely grew up poor. Can now purchase homes, college funds for their children, have a “hit” show and now here comes the “band wagon”. Second, where are the petitions for “Bad Girls Club”, now on its 10th season! “Mob Wives”, “Jerry Springer”, ect. The difference in the producer’s of these shows are (skin color). Same problem, making millions off of young peoples pain! Then I see some of the “names” of the petition starters (irrelevant) people that are not starving like “most” people. Pretty much riding the coat tails of the people with the “hit” shows! Who does that? And why target only a “specific” target of people? The irony of it all!

  13. ana

    May 28, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    I agree with Cynthia Davis,we are in a recession.I frankly do not see a problem with people that most likely grew up poor,and can now afford to have the finer things in life. The reality shows are intended for pure entertainment…Where are the petitions for such shows as Mob Wives,Jerry Springer,and Bad Girls Club? Why target certain group of people?

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