Shocking ‘Basketball Wives’ episode turns some viewers off: Should Christian women watch?
Article By Jackie Chisholm // EEW Magazine // Christian Conduct
My aunt is an entertainment editor, so she watches television shows and movies for a living. Usually, not much bothers her, because she sees it all. It’s a part of her job.
But last evening, she called me late and said she was sickened watching women of color tear each other down on the latest episode of VH1’s hit reality show, Basketball Wives.
To protect her professional reputation, we’ll keep her name out of this piece. But she went on and on about the vicious name-calling, swearing, accusations, below-the-belt jabs, threats of violence, and belittling comments.
She said, “The show sank to a new low for me. It’s unwatchable to me after that. Never again. I don’t even want to review it.”
The ladies’ trip to Costa Rica was filled with nastiness, apparently. Though my aunt gave me an earful, I’ll spare you the details about Season 8, Episode 15.
As the conversation went on, I told my aunt I hadn’t seen the show in years, but once upon a time, I was an avid watcher. I was absolutely addicted to the drama, catfights, and luxurious living.
Let me be honest. I was all into the gossip, backstabbing, and treachery that played out during almost every episode. I laughed along with the mean-spirited humor and took pleasure in the humiliation of anyone—especially if it was someone I decided I didn’t really like. I used to be among the millions tuning in weekly.
Last night, while we were on the phone, my aunt asked me, “What made you stop watching?”
I told her that the Holy Spirit convicted me one time when I was hosting friends at my house. Here’s the story.
This was some time during the second season of Basketball Wives (so that gives you an idea of how long it’s been for me). Well, a few sister-friends from church came over to hang out at my house. Our gathering was on the same night Basketball Wives aired. I didn’t want to miss the episode, so I said, “I’ll be right back! I’ve got to make sure I TiVo my show.”
I don’t even think anyone uses TiVo—a digital recorder—anymore. But back then it was popular. So I ran in the house and came back talking about how good that season of Basketball Wives had been and how I didn’t want to miss a minute.
Suddenly, there was this eerie silence. Then, one of the young ladies who got saved a few months earlier asked me, “You watch that show?”
My new sister in the Lord was genuinely shocked, and the embarrassment must have showed on my face because she quickly said, “I didn’t mean anything by it, Sister Jackie,” and added, “I just thought you didn’t watch that kind of stuff on TV. That’s all.”
I wanted to disappear! If my complexion was lighter, I’m sure I would have been red-faced. Here I was, a “mature” Christian—or so I thought— the same one who had been telling this babe in Christ to be careful what she listened to, what she watched, and who she hung out with, so she could stay strong in the Lord.
As a matter of fact, that fellowship that day had been my idea. It was a way to surround her with fellow Christians and have a good time in a safe, healthy space. Looking back on it, I can see why she was surprised by my viewing choice.
I didn’t have anything to say for myself.
Although that moment of humiliation felt terrible, I knew it was good for me. It made me more closely examine my spiritual diet and look harder at myself in the mirror. That night, after everyone left and all was quiet, I opened my Bible, and it literally fell to James 1:25, which says this in the Good News Translation:
“But if you look closely into the perfect law that sets people free, and keep on paying attention to it and do not simply listen and then forget it, but put it into practice—you will be blessed by God in what you do.”
I needed to practice what I preached and obey God’s word that encourages us to dwell on good things that have virtue and value (Philippians 4:8).
I knew exactly what God was saying to me through that Scripture. Instead of trying to mold, shape, and correct others, I needed to get myself together first and take my own advice.
From that night forward, I never watched another episode of Basketball Wives, and after listening to my aunt’s rant, it’s a good thing I stopped.
Since God has delivered me from judging and trying to control other people, trust me, this article is not in any way meant to tell anybody what to watch. I am sure that just as God spoke to me through the Bible, He is able to do the same in your life.
As for me, daily, I am devoting my time to filling my heart and mind with good things that will strengthen me on my journey of faith.
Basketball wives—for me—isn’t one of those things. But, to each her own.