Tanya Young Williams Reveals Truth Behind 'Basketball Wives' [EXCLUSIVE]
11 months ago
Black women had no creative control and producers encouraged fights
Tanya Young Williams is known for many things. She’s the estranged wife of troubled athlete Jayson Williams, a mother of two, a Huffington Post contributor, and a spokesperson for the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Oh, and she's also a motivational speaker, a television personality and now an advocate for the positive image of black women in the media. As a former cast member of "Basketball Wives L.A." she knows firsthand how it feels to be portrayed in the wrong light. Williams spoke exclusively with Loop 21 on the truth behind "Basketball Wives" and why she’s speaking out.
Loop 21: Your web site TanyaYoungWilliams has become a place where you give yourself and others a platform to speak out. You recently interviewed Pilar Sanders, why did you want to tell her story?
Williams: Because I can relate to what she’s experiencing right now: being married to a professional athlete and [going through] a public break up. She wanted her story to be told in her own voice and I’m happy she trusted me to do it. It’s a lot of drama to go through especially when everyone seems to have an opinion.
[ALSO READ: Pilar's Gag Order Lifted, Statement Released]
Loop 21: Speaking of drama, you’ve been pretty outspoken regarding "Basketball Wives" and everything that’s happened this season in Miami. As someone who used to be on the show, tell us how much of it is made up and how much is true?
Williams: Let me say I only spoke out about the show when the community at-large came together and said enough is enough. I have a platform with the Huffington Post and friends like Star Jones who also wanted to speak out. The show is not scripted, but what does happen is producers will plant seeds in your head. They’ll say stuff like, "Well, did you know a real person's name is actually this or this happened to that person?" I think they have a strategy in building the tension, but they don’t actually say, "Hey, we want you to fight."
Loop 21: Why did you agree to be on the show? Is it true that you never watched an episode before filming?