I meant to post this earlier, but Monday got in my way. Atlanta native Kelly Smith Beaty has taken reality show producers to task for their demeaning portrayals of black Atlantas. Ms. Beaty, a former reality show participant on Donald Trump’s The Apprentice is referring to The Real Housewives of Atlanta and Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta. (Disclosure: I haven’t seen these shows and don’t plan to, especially after what Ms. Beaty writes in the Huffington Post.)
Her post, “Will the Real Black People of Atlanta Please Stand Up,” is well worth reading. She asks: Why can’t the media focus more on African-American women of achievement? Good question.
Time after time, executive producers from L.A. and New York, where I currently reside- bring their camera crews and A/V techs into our city to create what inevitably amounts to the Jerry Springer equivalent of the franchise’s northern counterparts. A series that historically featured the diamond encrusted lives of wealthy spouses debuted an Atlanta version of the series where the wealth was elusive and spouses were no longer a requirement. More recently, a show about popular entertainers and the women who love them premiered an Atlanta-based installment where the term popular was subjective and women suggested that other women should be put “on the track,” a prostitution reference that is particularly damaging for a city that is already noted for being one of the largest hubs for child sex trafficking in the world. To put it mildly I was offended. To state I plainly, I was aghast.
Her piece has created a lot of buzz. As a matter of fact, Jennifer Brett of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote about it in The Buzz.