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Shaunie O'Neal: LA Basketball Wives Cast "Sprinkled with Trash"

Shaunie O'Neal: LA Basketball Wives Cast "Sprinkled with Trash"

Shaq's ex admits her show negatively portrays black women on TV.

Published July 15, 2011

Catfights may be great for ratings, but they don't help basketball wife-turned-TV producer Shaunie O'Neal sleep at night. Shaquille O'Neal's ex-wife, who executive produces the reality series Basketball Wives, seems to having misgivings about how her show portrays black women on television. She tells Ebony Jet:

"People say to me: ‘You’re saying the portrayal of Black women is bad on TV, but your show is one of the number one reasons why it is.’ Guess what? I agree! But you look at those credits — it’s more than me executive producing it. I brought this vision to a table full of people, a table full of executives, and since then it has taken on its own new thing.”

She goes on to lay a lot of the blame for the shows poor image on the Los Angeles cast:

“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. 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.”

Shaunie does hope to "get some type of balance" back on the show:

"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, 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."

Sounds like Shaunie is beginning to regret the monster she created, but it may be too late to stop it. Basketball Wives enjoyed record ratings for it's Season 3 premiere. Sorry, Shaunie. Drama sells.

Written by Smriti Mundhra


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