Star Jones is interesting. She’s smart, crafty and typically quite classy, but I admittedly cocked my head to the side like Scooby-Doo, when I read that Jones said that she never intended to boycott the show “Basketball Wives.” Speaking to another woman, Wendy Williams, that I appreciate dearly, Star said, “I was never encouraging anybody to boycott somebody’s job. That’s not what I’m about.”
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Star’s words are a far cry from her previous tweets on the matter, where she took a far more militant point of view:
“It may be ‘comfortable’ to be quiet when women of color slap the crap out of each other & run across tables barefoot, but #ENOUGHisENOUGH,” she tweeted. “About to put together a group of sisters to finally ‘tell the truth’ about the image of women of color in the media.”
“And the thought that the woman from #BBW who was smacked doesn’t have the RIGHT to file assault charges is LUDICROUS,” she said. “You NEVER give up your right not to have your ‘person’ intentionally assaulted unless you are participating in an agreed physical activity. I’m asking all my high profile, platform having conscientious sisters who STAND FOR SOMETHING to just say #ENOUGHisENOUGH & call folk out! Be mad. But think about what I said. WE ARE BETTER than that. You’re either part of the problem or part of the solution.
Perhaps the Star Jones from last month should be introduced to the Star Jones from this month, because they appear to be different people.
I’ve rarely, if ever, seen anyone back pedal this fast when it comes to taking a stand on such an important issue. I wouldn’t doubt that this has a lot to do with money, since Star herself is a reality TV star, but it certainly goes to show how money and fame can modify our point of view.
My perspective is that Star Jones may be doing a “shake down” of VH1 and its producers. In other words, I wouldn’t be surprised to see her on the next season of “Basketball Wives,” perhaps as a contributor whose job it is to convince the women to stop fighting so much, kind of like a referee at a boxing match or trainer at the zoo. It’s hard to imagine how the world is better off with Star becoming buddies with Evelyn Lozada, the Chief Assault Artist for the show, so in some ways, Star may have made herself part of the problem, not the solution.
Star needs VH1 and VH1 may need Star (to stop criticizing their show). For example, the ratings for “Basketball Wives” have been in constant decline. There is a long list of corporate sponsors running for the hills, indicating that the show’s producers are nervous. This is further shown by the fact that many of its leading lady gangstas (namely Evelyn Lozada and Tami Roman) are having a series of highly publicized “coming-to-Jesus” moments, where they want you to understand that it was childhood trauma that makes them want to bash in the face of the woman next to them.
Star Jones, thanks for at least getting the rest of us riled up, even if you yourself are now sinking back into the comfort of the establishment.
For those who still care about protecting young girls from being taught to bully one another, the fight must go on. There are thousands of young women all across America who are suicidal or traumatized due to the “little Evelyns” sprouting up all across the country, and its up to the adults around them to stand up and protect these kids.
The key to dealing with a bully is coming together and fighting to the end. We cannot allow “Basketball Wives” to bully the rest of us into submission. For a variety of economic reasons, the premise of the show will probably never change. Therefore, the only solution is to get rid of the show entirely.
What do you think?
Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.