by Dr. Boyce Watkins
“I’m about to put the bitch on the flo.” These are the famous words coming out of the mouth of Geneva Thomas, a reality TV star who is getting paid to fight like a 10-year old on Bravo.
Thomas is the star of the new reality TV series, “Blood, sweat and heels,” and recently gained a bit more fame by putting a bottle upside the head of her co-star, Melyssa Ford. I don’t know why these ladies were fighting, but I’m sure it was over something silly. I also am not sure if they understand that this kind of assault typically comes with very serious prison time, and I wonder if they consider how they might be embarrassing their families and their community in the process.
But maybe I’m being too serious. After all, it’s just prison time; everybody is doing it.
Ford, a former video vixen, was sent to the hospital and had to get several stitches to the head. Thomas has been arrested on the charge of felony assault, and should probably also face charges for humiliating black women all around the world. But what does integrity matter when you’re getting ratings and money?
The show is clearly on the map now, since people are wondering what kind of farm animal would put a Vodka bottle upside a woman’s head. This new peak in reality TV violence may lead to some kind of arms race, as one of show tries to outdo the other. Who knows? Maybe one day, someone will get killed. If the network is lucky, the homicide might happen with the cameras rolling…that would generate enough ad revenue to pay the grieving family not to press charges.
It seems that everyone has a price.
This incident also says a few things about what can happen if alcohol is involved in our decision-making. Alcohol was recently declared the most dangerous drug in the world, primarily because it can lead to violence, rape, and all the other horrible things that we claim to be fighting against.
Finally, there is the ugly truth that imitating the behavior of women in reality TV will get you sent to jail. Pretty soon, reality television might be for black women what hip-hop is to black men: Corporations paying people of color to do humiliating things that ultimately land them in jail and end up ruining their lives. What’s saddest is that people I know who are friends with Geneva say that she’s not the kind of person who’d ever do this in real life. So, even grown-ups can be pressured into showing off for the cameras.
That’s what Tia and I talk about today.