Real Housewives of Atlanta is in the news yet again. Season six of the highly rated reality show continues to turn up the heated drama for its viewers both on and off camera. From FBI investigations, past criminal activities, financial troubles, and now a recent warrant for the arrest of cast member Porsha Williams, Real Housewives of Atlanta is becoming what many viewers are calling “ratchet” television. Many adults are faced with choices to either react or respond to heated situations with words, or violence. Williams was confronted with a choice and she reportedly chose ratchet.
In March of 2014 Real Housewives of Atlanta taped its anticipated reunion special. The sixth season of the popular reality show displayed cast members in great conflict with one another. A cast member provoking other fellow cast mates is nothing new for Bravo TV’s programming. The formula that has successfully worked for the big network has been putting rich, successful women together with very strong personalities to see what would happen. Every season the women plot and scheme against one another that result in intense confrontations. The heat in the kitchen reportedly got a little too hot for the youngest cast member of Real Housewives of Atlanta.
As the ladies sat in their beautiful gowns and diamonds to tape the reunion, Williams and her arch-enemy Kenya Moore engaged in their usual nasty exchange of words. The clash between Williams and the former Miss USA is normal to the fans of the Real Housewives of Atlanta. Watching clips from the infamous taping that was leaked out to the media, millions of fans took to Twitter and Facebook debating and taking sides as if it were a Don King event. Williams, as always, was speaking over Moore to get her insults in. Moore, however, reportedly pulled out props to entertain the viewers. In her witty jest, she pointed her majestic, beauty queen scepter at Williams. Williams snatched the prop from the beauty queen and threw it to the ground. As Williams continued with her mud-slinging, Moore pulled out another humorous prop. Seated on opposite ends of the sofa, Moore calmly spoke into a bullhorn to let Williams know she was not going to raise her voice to strain to speak over Williams.
The tape showed Williams suddenly getting up from the sofa to charge at Moore. Moore quickly got up from her seat. Williams grabbed Moore by her hair and the tape ends with vice president of development and talent, Andy Cohen, and production crew breaking up the altercation and struggling to get Williams away from the scene. Williams, as all cast members of the Real Housewives franchise during a reunion taping, had a choice and she made the less-the-smart-one. The entertaining reunion that fans tune in to watch suddenly turned into what many viewers believed to be a painful and embarrassing “ratchet” event. Some fans, however, are debating that Williams was provoked to violence.
Williams reportedly turned her self into authorities this week when she learned a warrant was issued for her arrest for the assault of Kenya Moore. When the investigators saw the clip of the reunion, Williams was wanted for assault. She was booked and released on a reported $2,000 bond. Williams who explained to talk show host Bethenny that purchasing high-end designer clothes and $3,500 shoes took priority over getting health insurance and then claiming she could not afford health coverage. Williams has expressed on the reality show that there are 265 days in a year, she believes the Underground Railroad was an actual train that took slaves to freedom, and the list continues. Many Real Housewives of Atlanta supporters believe she has not proven to be the most intelligent or mature cast member for adult viewers to relate to.
Those with the same mentality of Williams, however, are coming to her defense that she was provoked to physically attack another woman. Cast mate NeNe Leakes, former criminal, explained to Andy Cohen that she does not condone violence. Leakes is infamous for “provoking” cast members by using her 5’10” imposing figure and loud, booming voice onto her more petite sized cast mates. Former cast mate Kim Zolciak often got a taste of Leakes wrath that reportedly included a 911 call to police that Leakes had choked her in a parking lot.
Those with an understanding of consequence and the confidence to use their intelligence to shut down anyone “provoking” them, sees that Williams had a choice to make in the situation. As parents in today’s world struggle to teach their children the consequences of their actions, public figures like Porsha Williams gets glorified for reacting to a situation using violence. The consequences for Williams’ actions in the real world would have been an immediate termination from her employer Bravo TV and handcuffs. Bravo TV has aired six seasons of women “provoking” one another. Only two of their female cast members, signed under contract, have reportedly chosen to use violence resulting in 911 emergency calls being made by their cast mates. The verdict is still out whether Bravo TV will use the “provoking” excuse to keep Williams on board the cast of the Real Housewives of Atlanta. Maybe the network needs to not only enforce no violence between cast members, but possibly explain what exactly constitutes “provoking”. Bravo TV needs to be careful. Without strong women using wit, skill, sharp tongue, and humor to antagonize one another, they no longer have a successful formula. The fun is always over when the ratchet arrive.
Opinion by Meleika Gardner