Why 'Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta' Needs to Go
When a show is this degrading, sometimes turning the channel isn't enough.
After learning of the "affair" -- which she doesn't actually believe until Stevie J and Joseline present her with a positive pregnancy test -- Mimi tries to save face by demanding a percentage of Stevie J's management and producer fees for managing Joseline. But even after this most recent public humiliation, Mimi is still willing to work things out with Stevie J -- but not until he gets rid of Joseline. Really?
If that isn't enough for you, take a look at Lil' Scrappy and his Oedipal relationship with his mother, Momma Dee, who babies him to the point of crawling into bed with him. She also bullies Erika, the mother of his child, into doing things the way Lil' Scrappy wants them done.
Never mind the fact that Lil' Scrappy outright lies to Erica, pretending that he's interested in building a one-on-one relationship with her while pursuing a relationship with his "best friend," with whom he is clearly sexually involved. Add Lil' Scrappy and Erica's brawl with Stevie J and Joseline in a parking lot, and you've got a hot mess.
Has television boiled down to grown men (fathers) competing with each other over who has the most "baby mamas" and fighting it out (even though Lil' Scrappy is on parole)? The idiocy of it all is trumped only by the fact that this foolishness is on television in the first place. Is it really reality when a show's editors reportedly have to edit a fight scene and show it in bits and pieces to prevent a cast member from being returned to prison?
Which leads me back to my original point. There is something for everyone on television. However, the hatred that men on this show display toward women -- not to mention the extreme violence, bullying, catfights and criminal and sexually irresponsible behavior -- is intolerable. There isn't any love on the show, and little to no hip-hop, so I'm not sure why it's on the air.
The show is supposed to be scripted reality, but the script does nothing more than perpetuate the most damaging images of black folks by showcasing damaged people. That is called exploitation and abuse, not entertainment -- and there is a difference. Turn off Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, because black folks can't take another black eye from reality television.
Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., is editor-at-large for The Root. Follow her on Twitter.