Sheree Whitfield sat down with Essence Magazine for an exclusive interview to discuss her life after The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Sheree told Essence that she had been spending a lot of time with her kids, coming to terms with her ex-husband Bob, and making sure she took the time she needed to build Chateau Sheree.
Apparently, all of our shade to her fortune is completely wrong. In my Open Letter to Sheree, I mentioned that she just had to be fired because she was broke now, which would explain why Chateau Sheree is still a pile of dirt and grass. But Sheree claims otherwise.
What’s been going on in your life since you officially left Real Housewives of Atlanta?
I’ve been spending more time with my kids and my family and planning my next move. I’ve got a couple projects that I’m working on that I’m really excited about. I’ve partnered with a company called Zuma to create a 5 million-pound fitness challenge. We’re trying to help a generation get healthy. I’m really excited about it because this is my realm and what I love.
RHOA is so successful. Was it daunting to make the decision to leave?
Well, you know what, I had been thinking about it for a while. We don’t see the show until it airs, or a couple days before it airs. Even when we were taping, there were a few things I wasn’t happy with as far as how I was portrayed. I was going through some really tough things in my life and watching back and seeing how it affected not only my life, but also my kids’ lives, I made a decision that I didn’t want to be selfish. My kids come first.
How do you respond to people who say that you were actually fired instead of quitting?
I don’t have a response to that. I could really care less because I know what happened. It was an amicable split. I was ready to move and I don’t need to explain myself to anybody. I am super happy and I’m moving in a different direction. This is what I know. I’m not about just being on a show bickering and fighting with women. There are big parts of my life that weren’t shown that I’m ready for everybody to see.
Speaking of behavior on the show, is there somewhere you can take responsibility? The producers do put you in that situation, yes, but it’s still you doing it.
Definitely. You’re being put in situations with people you normally won’t be around. You’re doing the show, but at the same time, you can’t control the editing. It’s crazy, the negative stereotype that Black women get about this when it’s not a racial issue; it’s a gender issue. We’re very emotional beings — women period, not just Black women or White women or Italian women or Asian women. We’re all the same way. But unfortunately, [in] the Black community there’s always a microscope on what we do and that’s not fair because you have other shows like Jersey Shore — they’re getting drunk and fist fighting. Then you have Mob Wives and Housewives of New Jersey — they’re flipping tables. Everybody handles things differently. When you have women of other races doing it, they’re not boycotting them. I don’t think it’s fair the stereotype that they put on African-American women, or females period.
As for the negative portrayal of black women on reality TV, it is something that I am getting sick of. After Tami Roman’s childish antics last night on Basketball Wives (her open letter here), I don’t think I’ll be supporting any of these shows (except for the sake of live tweeting on occasion for my followers) by watching them religiously. I can agree with Sheree that women in generally on reality TV are horrible creatures. When she mentioned Teresa flipping a table on The Real Housewives of New Jersey and the Mob Wives fights, it made me think about the small disdain they received. Or maybe it did receive just as much attention, but from the Italian community, which is a community I don’t belong to.
Maybe Sheree and other black women on reality TV get such a bad rep is because black women are still fighting against the “angry black woman” stereotype, and these shows are just perpetuating that image. Of course my people would be upset at such a thing because it’s what they are witnessing daily. But, when will it change?
Post your thoughts on this issue. I’d loved to hear your views.