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Double Standard for "Ghetto" Housewives?

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Diane Mizota: In a recent interview with ESSENCE.com, Lisa Wu-Hartwell, from the "Real Housewives of Atlanta", says absolutely yes. "It's just unfair that people pass judgment and call our show ghetto but when they talk about the women [of] Orange County or New York or New Jersey shows they call it entertainment."

Lisa Wu Hartwell

She's got a point. Why is the word "ghetto" brandished against black women and not their white counterparts? She may be too much of a Georgia peach to say it outright, but I call racism. Last time I checked, reality show crazy comes in all colors.

The Housewives of ATL are held to a higher standard, Hartwell told Essence.com: "...there's a teaser for the New Jersey show where one of the women flips over a table in the restaurant. Now had any of us done that we probably would have lost some viewers and been told that we lack class. Unfortunately, certain behaviors are more accepted from our counterparts than they are among us."

Why? I believe it's because of the dearth of black families on television. It's been eons since Clair Huxtable was practicing law and raising five kids, and "The Fresh Prince" was storming Bel-Air. If you look at the archetypes of black women on television, the percentage of women, let alone moms, who are portrayed as upper-middle class is miniscule. Where is the black family on television? So when these ladies are shown on Bravo, faults and all, why are they immediately being called "ghetto"? Wouldn't just "crazy" or "hot mess" suffice?

The draw of the "Housewives" franchise is getting a peek into rich housewives' everyday lives and the craziness that ensues, regardless of color. It comes down to this: Drama comes in all colors.

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11 comments so far | Post a comment now
Hit a nerve? May 21, 2009, 11:48 AM

Way off. The white chic on Atlanta Housewives is the most “ghetto” of all.

It’s all in perception, isn’t it? If you think people are judging you by skin color, they probably are. At least in your mind. Now might be a good time to evaluate personal hang ups.

v May 21, 2009, 1:24 PM

I think that people are confused about how racist people are in some parts of the country. Where I was born and raised I never really thought one way or another about a person because of the color of their skin. When I moved to the south I realized why black people call so many white people racist. Down here I have heard so many derogitory things towards the color of peoples skin. I am shocked. I never really thought it existed to this degree!! I do have to say this: people of all colors are ghetto! The crazy white chick from Atlanta is GHETTO! I can’t wait to see the crazy ghetto girls from Jersey!

Anonymous May 21, 2009, 2:31 PM

Those shows are stupid and so are the viewers!

HeRo May 21, 2009, 2:39 PM

the jersey housewives seem waaay ghettoier.

Rachel May 21, 2009, 2:44 PM

The atl housewives show is ghetto. I watched it on Saturday during a marathon..and had to change the channel b-c it was so ridiculous!No..not being racist, just calling it like it is. G-H-E-T-T-O. and really….are there no black women in OC or NYC or NJ?? why target ATL and only have 1 white girl..who is crazy to! haha That racial profiling if you ask me…but whatever.

chadwick June 17, 2009, 4:54 PM

Forget this racism nonsense, it’s getting so old. White people will be a minority in Amerirca in about ten years (europe will be following) and nobody will care if white people are discriminated against. Only white people can ever be racist, never the other way around, right?

Concerning the actual show, the whole premise for the housewives show was to give an inside look at the everyday lives of very wealthy housewives.

Unfortunately, the housewives of atlanta aren’t even wealthy, so what is the point? The show was just thrown together to appease black people and make them happy?

All of the women may have a certain amount of money but it’s OBVIOUS that the vast majority, save for DeShawn even have any kind of decent money backing up the whole bling show.

When comparing the actual wealth value behind all of the women on the NY one vs ATL, it’s a joke. ATL are higher middle class to lower upper class black families. And of course, they are extremely ghetto.

None of the housewives shows are classy anyway though. Real old money people would never be dressing or talking like the way any of these people are — they would be preppy and conservatively dressed with understated excessiveness. All of these shows are just a bunch of nouveau riche showing us how trashy they can be.

Florida One August 13, 2009, 3:12 PM

I had a feeling early on that all these “Real Housewives” shows were totally a scam! First and foremost anyone with any class at all knows you don’t go on national television and “brag” about how much you have! All of these shows want people to think these people have unlimited cash reserves, NO SO! They all have burned thru their credit cards, fried any equity they may have had…If people will just take the time to pull up the public tax records on these so called “mansions” they will quickly see they were bought with no money down, or that 2am “Get Rich Quick” real estate scam show on tv. I’m sure within the next year or less, most of these shows will be as worthless as the bank accounts of all those “wealthy” people who were supposed to have it better then the rest of us! After all that false, non-funded acting on tv…welcome back to the real world you bunch of fake, broke, non-talent liars!

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