Shaunie O’Neal’s Opinion And Defense Of How Black Women Are Portrayed On Basketball Wives

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For nearly three seasons, Basketball Wives has explored the drama between a core group of women who at one point or another have all had it out with each other, with varying degrees of violence, anger, and…creative language. And of course when women behave badly, they come under fire for it, and the women on this show certainly receive their fair share of criticism. Shaunie O’Neal, who not only stars on the show but executive produces, is fully aware of the negativity directed toward the show, and in a commentary she wrote for CNN.com, O’Neal acknowledges and defends the women of Basketball Wives.

We’ve pulled some highlights from her piece which address the biggest issues from the show, feel free to read the entire thing over on CNN, and weigh in on Shaunie’s defense in the comments. Shaunie writes:

I have gotten both good and bad responses from viewers about “Basketball Wives,” and I certainly understand the opinion that the shows portrayal of black women is beginning to look somewhat negative.

As you see on the show, I’m not a big supporter of the bickering, drink throwing and fighting, but when you put a group of strong, independent and vocal women who are going through or just came out of a bad relationship together, there’s bound to be a little drama…

The problem for me is when black women are portrayed as only being that way and labeled different than their non-black counterparts for the same type of behavior. That’s when it becomes negative and damaging to our image.

I’m not saying we have to create shows that only paint a pretty picture about who we are, but there should be a balance and most of all some integrity to the shows we create.

That’s why I wanted to do “Basketball Wives.” I wanted to show what life is really like when you are with a professional athlete — and that sometimes all that glitters isn’t gold…

That’s the heart of “Basketball Wives,” and I believe that if you look closely and beyond the arguing and the fighting, you’ll see a group of women trying to get their lives back on track and figure out who they really are.

Commentary: Negative portrayals of black women on reality TV [CNN]

[Photo: Getty Images]

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