Tanya Young Williams, the estranged wife of troubled former NBA star Jayson Williams, spoke exclusively with Loop21.com on the truth behind the VH1’s “Basketball Wives” show and why she decided to speak out.
Check out what Williams had to say below:
Loop 21: Speaking of drama, you’ve been pretty outspoken regarding “Basketball Wives” and everything that’s happened this season in Miami. As someone who used to be on the show, tell us how much of it is made up and how much is true?
Williams: Let me say I only spoke out about the show when the community at-large came together and said enough is enough. I have a platform with the Huffington Post and friends like Star Jones who also wanted to speak out. The show is not scripted, but what does happen is producers will plant seeds in your head. They’ll say stuff like, “Well, did you know a real person’s name is actually this or this happened to that person?” I think they have a strategy in building the tension, but they don’t actually say, “Hey, we want you to fight.”
Loop 21: What made you leave the show? Many in the media said it was because you didn’t have enough drama in your story line.
Williams: Actually, the final straw for me at the time was covering the Conrad Murray trial for KTLA. It was very hard for me to speak about that case and be taken seriously [while] being on a show where black women were fighting and throwing water bottles at each other. I couldn’t co-exist in both worlds.
Loop 21: This month you stated there are no black women with creative control working behind the scenes of the show. Does this mean that Shaunie O’neal isn’t actually getting a lot of say, despite her executive producer credit?
Williams: I can only speak on my experience and black women do not have creative control on the show. There wasn’t a black woman in the editing booth saying, “Hey this is ridiculous; we shouldn’t show this.” The only black people I ever saw on set were men – the cameraman and one head producer. What’s sad is there are a hundred hours of filming, yet they only use 8 hours of tape. You’d think someone would say, “Hey, let’s balance the show out,” but it doesn’t seem like anyone does that.
Loop 21: Do you regret participating in “Basketball Wives”?
Williams: Absolutely not. I had an amazing experience and got along with everyone.
You can read the entire article here.
Tanya R. Young Williams is a TV Personality, inspirational speaker, legal analyst for KTLA news, author and contributor to Huffingtonpost.
All of Young Williams’s talents came together on TV after she was thrust into the public spotlight when her estranged husband, former NBA All-Star, Jayson Williams, was tried for the fatal shooting of his limo driver in 2002.
You can visit her website at TonyaYoungWilliams.com
1st photo Credit: Tonya Young Williams
2nd photo Credit: AP Photo/Mike Derer