Shaunie O’Neal, ex-wife of Shaquille O’Neal and executive producer of VH1’s reality show “Basketball Wives,” recently wrote a letter to CNN about how she feels shows like “Basketball Wives” are meant to “uplift” African-American women, despite many critics negative opinions of the show.
O’Neal says that the show was made to “strike a balance” in the ever increasing pool of negative depictions of Black women.
An excerpt of her statement reads:
I do believe some of the shows featuring African-American women have positive story lines and are not meant to tear black women down. Shows like [BET's] “Tiny & Toya” and “Monica: Still Standing,” [TVOne's] “LisaRaye: The Real McCoy,” [VH1's] “What Chili Wants” and [WE tv's] “The Braxtons
They all have the same core storyline — single, exes of high profile men, trying to raise their children and get their lives back on track. I believe that is positive and when handled properly can be very uplifting and empowering for women going through the same issues, no matter their race.
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.