TMZ reported yesterday that “sources on the production team,” said Claxton hasn’t been invited back to the show and no one had reached out to her to since the reunion episode.
Later in the day, VH1.com was giving a conflicting report. “Contrary to what TMZ has reported, we here at VH1 can confirm that Meeka Claxton has not been fired from “Basketball Wives”… there are no confirmed casting decisions for Season 4.”
If this is anything like the Stacey Dash debacle on “Single Ladies” (for those under a rock, she’s out too), it’s likely only a matter of time before Claxton gets the proverbial axe. For months, audience favorite Tami Roman, who is being sued by Claxton for assault, has been saying she will not return to “BBW” if Claxton does. Shaunie O’Neal has also spoken publicly regarding Claxton’s fate, telling Power 92 in Chicago that Claxton will not be returning. “It just didn’t work out,” O’Neal said, as if Claxton’s fate was already sealed.
Across the blogosphere, most of you had shared my reaction to speculative news of Claxton’s departure, which was, ‘good… for Meeka!’
“Meeka, you should be thanking Jesus loudly that you are off that train wreck of a show,” one commenter wrote. “Now don’t you ever in your Black life go back on some mess like that! You need to be on something that will represent yourself, family and business with dignity. Basketball ThugWives was most definitely not it.”
For many of you, Claxton stood out on the show as “one of these things are not like the others.” Most obvious was that she is a still-married (to former NBA player Craig “Speedy” Claxton) and is a mother of two. She also co-owns Allure Realty Group, a lucrative global relocation network that helps professional athletes settle into their homes. She told Black Enterprise.com, “I decided to say ‘yes’ to “Basketball Wives” because I wanted to show that we’re not all at home eating bonbons on the couch with three nannies to take care of our one kid.”
In light of her likely exit, the thunderous backlash against “BBW” has re-ignited. Across the Internet, Black women are complaining about the depiction of women on “BBW,” and the recent launch of “Basketball Wives L.A.” has only fueled the fire. In the most recent episode, two mothers, Malaysia Pargo and Laura Govan) are shown in a weave-pulling, fist-throwing fight in the middle of an upscale restaurant. (To Pargo’s credit, she did get attacked first.)
“I got physically ill watching [the two of them] fighting like animals,” tweeted comedienne and “The View” co-host Sherri Shepherd.
Unfortunately, women acting a fool has become part and parcel of the popular reality TV genre. So has the dull whine from some viewers about Black women’s depiction. Newsflash: nothing will change as long as people — three million for the Sept. 29 premiere — are tuning in to watch the antics. You want a change to come? It can. But only if you stop watching.
Demetria L. Lucas is the Relationships Editor at ESSENCE and the author of “A Belle in Brooklyn: Your Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria) in stores now. Watch her discuss her book on “The Today Show” this Friday.