It was only an amount of time before recent controversy took its toll on ratings.
By: Amanda Anderson-Niles
Basketball Wives may have initially began as a way for Shaunie O’Neal, ex wife of Shaquille O’Neal, to show the positive side of being married to a famous professional athlete, but since the first season, there hasn’t been much positive to come from the reality train-wreck that has shown women of color in the most unfavorable light. While reality television thrives off of scandal and contrived drama force-fed from shady executive producers, Shaunie’s 3 ring circus has reached a new low that involves violence and national embarrassment due to poor casting choices.
In particular, Evelyn Lozada has displayed a high level of violence for most of the first half of the fourth season. In the most recent scenes, Lozada can be seen running across tables to attack former friends, throwing full wine bottles at new cast mates, and encouraging her stylist to attack her foes on national television.
In theory, this behavior should have sent the ratings through the roof and deepened the pockets of shameless VH1 executives; but instead, these actions have caused petitions, boycotts ignited by celebrities, and even a decline in ratings.
Despite the damage control VH1 (the company released a press release this morning reporting an increase in viewership this morning) is trying to push through to the media outlets, numbers show the ratings have declined plenty since Evelyn’s recent actions have caused an outrage.
Basketball Wives started the fourth season with ratings over 3 million, while only amassing to 1.78 million on Monday night.
The petition that was originally scoffed at by Evelyn and her distasteful clan of supporters has now amassed almost 20,000 signatures. The organizer, Alexis M., has also been contacting advertisers to pressure them into withdrawing their support of the controversial reality television show.
Meanwhile, the cast (with the exception of Evelyn ironically) has been doing major damage control, with a swarm of interviews in which they label themselves as “misunderstood” and “mistreated” by the producers.