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After taking heat for the portrayal of black women on Vh1’s Basketball Wives, Executive drama starter Producer, Shanunie O’Neal is speaking out in an article she wrote for, of all places, CNN.

Explaining her motivation for creating Basketball Wives, Shaunie describes: “I wanted to show what life is really like when you are with a professional athlete — and that sometimes all that glitters isn’t gold…” Of course, what came with that was non-stop drama off the court that totally eclipsed anything happening on it!

Of course, Shaunie defends her money making venture show and all the screaming and backstabbing that goes with it (because otherwise who would watch): “As you see on the show, I’m not a big supporter of the bickering, drink throwing and fighting, but when you put a group of strong, independent and vocal women who are going through or just came out of a bad relationship together, there’s bound to be a little drama…”

As for criticism of how black women are depicted on Basketball Wives, according to Shaunie she is well aware: “I certainly understand the opinion that the shows portrayal of black women is beginning to look somewhat negative. ” Shaunie goes onto describe: “The problem for me is when black women are portrayed as only being that way and labeled different than their non-black counterparts for the same type of behavior. That’s when it becomes negative and damaging to our image.” Good point – I think some recent episodes of Real Housewives of Orange County demonstrate that!

Shaunie better have her defenses up for the upcoming Basketball Wives: Los Angeles because the dramz has already started! NBA star Gilbert Arenas is claiming castmember Laura Govan who is the baby mama of his three children with another on the way, is illegally exploiting him by participating in the show so, according to TMZ, he is suing to prevent the show from airing!

According to the lawsuit, even though he will not be mentioned by name on the show, his name was already used in the press release to describe Govan’s relationship to professional basketball and “the very presence of defendant Govan and the title of the show is an obvious reference to [Arenas].” In addition to asking the judge to issue an injunction banning the show from airing, Arenas also wants cold hard cash.

Arenas also asserts Govan isn’t a Basketball Wife (true, but are ANY of them?!) but signed up for the show because she wants her 15 minutes of fame on the Tee Vee. Laura who was with Arenas for years but never married, also allegedly had an affair with Shaunie’s ex husband Shaquille O’Neal! Yikes! A picture of Arenas is below.

Laura photo credit – Jonavennci Divad.

So, what do you think of Shaunie’s explaination of how Basketball Wives portrays black women? Will you be watching Basketball Wives: Los Angeles?

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