Anyone watching “The View” Monday knew co-host Sherri Shepherd couldn’t wait to grill Monday’s guest co-host Mona Scott-Young about her successful yet controversial “Love & Hip Hop” franchise. It was all over Sherri’s aura. And she soon (like 4 minutes into the show) got her chance to air her grievances.
“It was like every time they talked it would escalate into a physical fight and it did something in my stomach to see my sisters over here fighting so much. I have to say, I have to be honest, I couldn’t watch it much after that,” Sherri shared about the “level of violence” the “Love & Hip Hop” shows display. They air on VH1.
I totally get what Sherri’s saying. It can be painful to watch women (or anyone) engage in verbal or physical combat whether watching that franchise or any other reality show. When Sherri asked Mona, CEO of Monami Entertainment, whether the fighting on the shows made for good television, she responded, “You know what it is? It’s the passion that they have about certain subjects and a lot of times it leads to that.” Really, Mona?
As you’ll see in the video below, Mona’s responses were PR-appropriate, allowing no dark clouds to hover above her brand. I guess it would be a response I’d give if in her shoes. Considering the amount of criticism the “Love & Hip Hop” franchise has received, it seems she could’ve offered a more substantive reply. Remember the boycott petition formed against “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” two years ago? Sherri may have been better off asking Mona how she’d feel if her 11-year-old daughter was fighting over a guy the way cast members Teairra Mari and Princess Love reportedly were over Ray J (yes, Brandy’s little brother) during a taping of “Love & Hip Hop LA.” Or her thoughts on how the shows may contribute to the limited portrayals of black men and black women in media. But I guess that would’ve made the episode’s remaining 55 minutes very uncomfortable (Notice how co-host Whoopi Goldberg was on standby just in case things did). It seems Sherri did the best she could. And Mona, with her sunny smile (and, again, with help from Whoopi), kind of shut it down. For now.
In the meantime, girlfriend’s reported next reality venture, “Sorority Sisters,” where the ladies of Black Greek letter organizations–Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Zeta Phi Beta and Sigma Gamma Rho–could turn it up a la “Love & Hip Hop,” is already coming under fire since a trailer surfaced (and apparently disappeared) online, according to several reports. There’s a petition circulating calling for that show’s cancellation. Ay yi yi.
I don’t think reality TV shows will be going away anytime soon. People of all backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses tune in, no matter how wretched the behavior. And unfortunately, with that, neither will the cringe-worthy antics many brothas and sistas are willing to churn out for a few coins and a couple of blog post mentions. It is what is, I guess. You know what’s really sad? The individuals who make blanket assumptions that all black Americans must behave the way (ratchet) reality TV stars do. I have my own personal tale or two related to this. But that’s another post for another day. For now, check out Sherri and Mona’s exchange (it was amicable) below.
Mona Scott-Young guest co-hosts “The View”
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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.