‘When I First Started Speaking Out About It No One Believed Me’: Tamar Braxton Opens Up About How Reality TV Depicts Black People as ‘Problematic’

Tamar Braxton candidly discussed Black people’s portrayal on reality television on Feb. 26 during an interview with “Hollywood Unlocked Uncensored.” Fox Soul shared the show’s clip, which aired later that night, on the channel’s Instagram page

At the beginning of the video host Jason Lee asked the former reality star — who’s called out We TV for its negative representation of her in the past — why many people, including Damon Dash, shared similar stories when working with that network. 

Tamar Braxton opens up about the negative Black representation on reality TV during a recent interview with “Hollywood Unlocked: Uncensored.” (Photos: @foxsoul/Instagram screenshot)

Braxton said, “Doesn’t that sound crazy? When I first started speaking out about it, no one believed me. Looking back at it, how could they? Because the depiction of me was ‘problematic,’ right? So, for me to come out and say that these things were actually, really going on, this was my experience. No one wanted to believe it.”

The “Love & War” singer also told Lee that the problem isn’t just one network and asked the host if he saw a positive reality television show that involved Black people.

Lee responded to Braxton’s claims by saying, “I’ve been very vocal about the fact that I feel like these networks that are ran by a bunch of white people [to] create conversations and experiences for the culture that are really negative.” 

The 43-year-old explained the reason Black reality stars continue to receive negative portrayals on television is because they continue to sign up for shows to boost their fame.

Tamar Braxton. (Photo: @tamarbraxton/Instagram)

“It’s not really about the execs so much. It’s the fact that we as a people participate in it. We still sign up to do it because everybody wants a shot. Everybody wants to be famous. Everybody wants to have a platform where they can make money and I’m not knocking them, but we do have a responsibility to keep that narrative going and I just feel like we will sign up to be on TV at any cost. And then, as a people, we watch it.”

She added, “So when a network sees a show that is generating numbers and generating income lots of it. The people who show up are gaslit and tricked into thinking they are going to have this life that they never end up having. We have to stop participating in it and that’s the bottom line.”

Fans’ reaction to the post were split. Some agreed with the singer’s remarks while others questioned why Braxton stayed so long with We TV if she knew the repercussions she would face with being a Black reality star.

“That was it right there ‘It’s not the execs, but the participants'”

“I’m sooooo happy she was courageous enough begin this dialogue! Especially when what she’s saying is that we ALL have participated on some level!”

“She’s so full of it!!!! Now that her fame is dwindling it’s a problem 🧐 she needed to have this epiphany when she was on all those shows NOT now.”

“But you choose to go on the show. You choose to use that same show to promote your music and products. You made a choice. You were giving what they asked to be gave..”

Braxton, who started her career in reality television in 2011 following the premiere of “Braxton Family Values,” parted ways with We TV network last summer after the mother of one revealed that she was “betrayed, taken advantage of, overworked, and underpaid” by the company.

The “BFV” alum also shared that months before her purported suicide attempt, she sent the network a letter to be released from her contract for her series “Tamar Braxton: Get Ya Life!” but said We TV ignored her “cry for help.” 

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