Looks like the petition worked.
VH1 announced in a blog post that the network, along with Shaunie O'Neal, promise to tone down the violence in their hit reality series Basketball Wives. The show has been losing viewers and sponsors lately in a backlash against the escalating physical violence between cast members.
Production company Shed Media issued the following statement:
“Shed Media US is fully committed to telling the compelling stories of the Basketball Wives in a balanced way. Our producing partner Shaunie O’Neal feels strongly about this, and we fully agree with this stance. We support her as she encourages the cast members to work out issues in a non-violent fashion. We look forward to working with her and the rest of the cast on conveying more balance in the next season.”
And VH1 had this to say:
Our viewers opinions always matter a great deal to us at VH1. Lately, there has been a lot of conversation about Basketball Wives, a series featuring strong, intelligent women with very passionate viewpoints which can sometimes escalate.
We at VH1 agree with and support Shaunie and the show producers’ 'no excessive physical confrontations' policy on the series moving forward. We are all committed to balancing the candid, bold excitement that the viewers have come to love in the series with storylines and representations they can be proud of. Shaunie has been a strong advocate for a more balanced approach to the show and we, along with our producing partners at Shed Media, are all in agreement about moving forward with that goal.
We'll have to wait for season five to see what they mean by "excessive" physical violence, but this is a step in the right direction for the series. The commitment to stop the violence also extends to Basketball Wives spin-off series Chad & Ev, starring Evelyn Lozada.
Check out Shaunie O'Neal's statement on the Basketball Wives reunion show below.
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(Photo: Courtesy VH1)