Name-calling, bottle-throwing, back-stabbing, fist-fighting and love triangles aside, Mona Scott-Young says her Love & Hip Hop franchise is changing lives.
The music manager and reality TV executive may receive constant backlash for the way women of color are portrayed on her popular reality series, but despite the naysayers, she says her shows bring more good than bad to its starring women.
“I will never forget the first time I gave Joseline a check and she cried. Prior to that she has never seen her name printed on a check because she was only ever paid in dollar bills, so don’t tell me I’m not changing lives,” Scott-Young said at a recent press roundtable. “Often times people tell me how horrible it is, or how these women should go crawl under a rock. I’m not here to judge them! I think that these women are a part of our population as African Americans. They live real lives and their stories deserve to be told as much as the other stories. I encourage them to use this as a platform.”
And now she’s dishing out platforms left and right. Scott-Young is continuing on her path of “changing lives” in her latest TV project, VH1′s The Gossip Game. This time around, she’s steering away from hip-hop artists and their lovers to showcase the women who cover entertainment news and the hierarchy that comes along with the business.
“We met with them and tried to find different lives and mediums to represent. I walked into the situation thinking that there was a pecking order. You have TV and radio journalists, then you’ve got the freelancers, then the bloggers, almost like they were at the bottom of the totem pole. But what I realized is that all of the folks in the different areas get their news from the bloggers. They’re probably a little more important than people want to give them credit for and we wanted to explore that,” she explained.
With two decades of experience in the music industry under her belt, Mona says she will continue to tell the behind-the-scences stories of the game — whether some critics like it or not.
“I have navigated this world for twenty years of my career so I am probably as qualified as most to talk about what happens in this world. I’ve witnessed it. I’ve experienced it. There’s no one really of this world that can say with clear conscience that this stuff does not happen or exist,” she said. “So what are we saying exactly? Not that this isn’t true, but that we should sweep it under the rug and act like it don’t exist. It’s that cousin that you love at the family barbeque but you don’t wanna bring to the company picnic. Stop it!”
The second season of Love & Hip Hop ATL returns on April 22. But until then, be sure to catch Mona’s newest show The Gossip Game, which premieres on April 1st.
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