Talking Points: Lisa Wu-Hartwell On New Book, Fake Reality TV & Domestic Violence
On Leaving Real Housewives Of Atlanta:
There comes a time in your life where times change, seasons change and it’s time for something new. On reality television shows, when it gets so popular and hot the desire and the need to be on top is always there. The first season of Real Housewives was very organic. What you see is what you got and that’s exactly how it happened. The second season we had the ratings, so you wanted to keep them there so the producers want to stir the pot a bit. Our ratings—we were killing everybody so it’s like we gotta stay on top so they had an idea of where they want their characters to go and they forget that we’re not characters in a show we’re real people living our lives. And sometimes people want to turn you into a character of your former self and I’m just not willing to perform or create something that isn’t there.
They have an idea of who they want you to be and you can only take that for so long and that’s why I said it’s time to go because I’m not willing to compromise my integrity. It’s like all Black people don’t act this way and it’s unfortunate that we feed into those stereotypes sometimes. I understand you don’t want to watch paint dry. I get it. But it’s a fine line between performing and acting a’fool. I had very real moments, I got upset on the reunion show but at the end of the day there’s a time and a place for everything. I have other aspects of my life that are interesting as you can guess but this is reality you’re not gonna tell me what I should focus on. So it comes a point where the pressure from the producers⎯they want to keep those ratings high so they’re like this is what’s going on this season and I’m like wait a minute, this is supposed to be reality television and some things I’m not willing to compromise. You have to have integrity and stand up for what you believe in and I refuse to create things that are not there for the sake of their ratings because I still have to live my life when the show is over.