Season 3 of “Basketball Wives: Miami” is almost in the books. The reunion episode will shoot in Los Angeles in 2 weeks. Basketball Wives: Los Angeles is set to launch on August 29th and there already looks to be some trouble behind the scenes.
In a recent interview, Shaunie O’Neal has aired her thoughts about the direction the show has taken and some of the casting selections made by either VH1 execs or the production company, Shed Media.
Shaunie has basically implied that she has no real say so in the current developments and that the L.A. cast doesn’t have her hand print on it aside from her credit as Executive producer.
“Yeah, you know they have Jackie Christie, I love her — they have a long lasting marriage and it works. There’s also Malaysia Pargo (wow Janero Pargo that played for the Lakers?? really?), you’ve got Imani who was the former fiancée of Stephen Jackson — they went to the altar, you get that connection. These ladies have been around forever in the game of basketball. But then you’ve got people that just might’ve slept with somebody. I’m not OK with that,” O’Neal says. “It’s just drama and … that’s not my vision. I don’t think that all money is good money. I don’t need it that bad. So we are having some issues. I’ve kind of just had to take a backseat and shut up and just let it go, let it ride. It’s David and Goliath right now.”
O’Neal says it’s her against about 12 people, and as a producer, she was outruled.
People that don’t understand how a network runs have probably assumed all along that Shaunie had more say so than she really did. I’m not surprised that she doesn’t have the final word on casting, the one whose providing the financing is usually whose given that power.
“Honestly, they’ve distorted it a little bit. I really came in with the concept of having a group of women that come together and are associated by the game of basketball, whether it be their husbands, fiancés — there’s some long-term relationship with a man in basketball and the game of basketball — and that’s how we formed this sisterhood and friendship,” she says. “The L.A. cast — there are some wives and fiancés, which I’m fine with. But there’s a little bit of trash kind of sprinkled into that cast that I’m totally against. I was really very hands off with that cast.”
Before you swing into overdrive thinking that her words are aimed at Laura Govan (if you’re reading this post, I’ll assume you know the history, if not start HERE, that should catch you up), it’s alleged that Laura isn’t her topic that it’s actually an ex (maybe current) video vixen named Draya whose exact “basketball wifey” affiliation is up in the air.
“I’m trying to get some type of balance on. Even Basketball Wives Miami — can we show Tami and I going to Project Girls and giving a girl a semester’s worth of tuition? Can we show that we actually have sat down and had good times and laughed like girlfriends? It’s not always the two minutes of drama that you get after eight hours of taping and somebody getting on somebody’s nerves. I get that it sells; I get that that’s what people wanna see,” she says. “But … can we show that these ladies actually can conduct themselves in a respectable manner? That they do know how to use the English language correctly? We aren’t always going off.”
The timing of Shaunie’s comments are curious as 1. Anyone who watches reality shows knows that these type aren’t intended to foster wholesome family values. Second, Shaunie has been receiving a bit of heat lately as some feel as if the entire image of black women rests squarely on her shoulders and what’s being aired via her shows is a huge part of the problem. I agree the show seems to have dissolved into an hour of nothingness. I hope it can get back on track but despite Shaunie’s hands off approach with the L.A. version, I’m still curious to see what develops. Especially if Draya is involved, why not show the other side of the coin. All’s fair in the reality TV ratings game.