In 2008 Bravo network debuted the airing of reality show The Real Housewives of Atlanta showcasing the lives of women either in the entertainment business or married to media moguls and athletes. Starting in November, the show will be starting season 9; however moving forward is bringing some concerns to Bravo as a network. Bravo is a network that airs shows to a multitude of audiences with different age ranges and they also want appropriate content to air. When cast mate Porsha Williams started a physical altercation on a reunion show, it caused a major controversy with Bravo. Williams had been in disagreement with other cast mate former Miss USA winner, Kenya Moore for nearly two seasons straight. During the season 6 reunion show Williams was fed up with Moore’s comments and pulled Moore’s hair starting a fight on television. It was such a huge deal that charges were made and Williams had a bond of $2,000. That would be the last fight to be started by Williams, from season 6 to now, Williams has been in 2 additional fights on the show. Bravo had a huge decision to make because with this happening, it came across that the network promoted violence which wasn’t the case.
Bravo and its public relations team had to come up with solutions that ultimately cleared the image of Bravo. They first started by figuring out what to do with Porsha Williams; it was debated whether or not to keep her as a cast member or make a deal with VH1’s hit show Love and Hip Hop to do a possible trade. Bravo also needed to make sure that if they got rid of Williams, then they needed to find someone who could come in and replace the slot so ratings would remain high. Bravo brought in two ladies; Singer and actress Demetria McKinney, and Media Mogul Claudia Jordan.
Instead of getting rid of Williams completely, Bravo’s public relations team advised that she remain on the show, however only as a reoccurring character not full time. This way the show kept an old cast member and gained two more members for season 7. For season 8, Bravo’s team decided to get rid of McKinney and Jordan as well as make Williams a full time cast member again to see what would happen. Bravo thought the issue was resolved however the 2 additional fights occurred which made the public relations team has to come up with another solution. They decided to bring in Actress Kim Fields but felt that Fields wasn’t the best pick for the cast. Now, season 9 is ready to air, and bravo had to decide what to do so that the network isn’t seen as one that promotes violence. The team is basically trying to bring in cast members to replace Williams for good so that the show can continue with a good image. The next move on behalf of the team was to bring in wife of R&B singer RL, Lena Chenier. Bravo plans to see how audiences react as well as how ratings will do.
This whole incident is similar to another show aired on Bravo entitle Married to Medicine. Cast member Quad Webb-Lunsford was attacked by Lisa Nicole Cloud. Bravo had to sit and decide whether to keep the show or cut certain cast members. Another television issue similar to Williams vs. Moore is how Oxygen’s hit show The Bad Girls Club reacts to violence on air. The show is forced to “replace” a cast member if she gets in a fight or causes violence. Oxygen wants to entertain and have boundaries.
In my opinion I feel that Bravo is making the right decision, there are teens who watch the show and you defiantly don’t want to promote violence. They need to know that there are circumstances to certain actions. Bravo just needs to pick more relevant cast members if they want the ratings to reflect the nice image it produces. The decision to punish those who cause violence makes the company look good as a whole. I would just suggest that when picking cast, try to pick people who genuinely are strangers so drama can’t form so easily. Moral of the story is you basically have to do whatever it takes to keep your image clean.