Drama has ensued on TV ONE’s popular spin-off show, R&B Divas LA. And the cast is in full promo mode, dishing and defending on what viewers see weekly from the talented singers. Last week, Lil Mo spoke quite candidly to Power 105’s ‘The Breakfast Club’ and this week, Dawn Robinson gives her take on non-scripted TV. In an interview with Mara the Socialite, former EN VOGUE singer defends Kelly Price and how she’s given an unfair portrayal on the show and points the fingers at the producers, saying that she was mislead into what the show would be about. The 44-year-old leading lady also admits that producers suggested that the spin-off didn’t have enough drama needed for ratings. Check out a few excerpts below.
ON BEING TOLD BY THE PRODUCERS OF R&B DIVAS THAT THE SHOW WOULDN’T BE ABOUT DRAMA:
They said they wanted a different type of show. They did not want drama – they pretty much guaranteed that it wasn’t going to be drama. That it was going to be a positive show. What the guy Phil [Thornton] told me – Phil is one of the producers – he said, ‘We want this to be like a ‘Waiting to Exhale’ type show.’ ‘Cause I told them, ‘As long as it’s
classy. I come from a classy group, and plus I was raised by my parents to be a good person. I don’t go for that drama and fighting and all that stuff.’ So when they offered me Atlanta ‘R&B Divas’, I said no, because I don’t live in Atlanta.’ I was working on a project with Maxine [En Vogue group mate] at the time, and I was just afraid like a lot of artists who are afraid to do a reality show because of what they see happen to other artists on reality shows. So I turned it down because I was afraid, not because I was being difficult. I was just afraid, and I didn’t want to relocate too. I live in LA, I didn’t want to relocate to Atlanta. But of course they’re going to tell you only half of the story, and again, I don’t care to…I’m a grown woman, I’m 47-years-old. I don’t care what people think about me, I stand for myself, I stand for truth, and that’s always going to be who I am.
ON HOW KELLY PRICE IS PORTRAYED ON THE SHOW:
See, this is the thing; this is what’s hard. When you show a bunch a stuff, and you have all this footage, and then they just break it down to certain parts of it, and then they omit certain things that you did say, but they don’t put that part in there because they want you to look a certain way. So this is why I was telling her, ‘Kelly, whatever we do, don’t react to people in an angry way, because they’re going to film that, and that’s what they’re gong to show. They want to show us fighting against each other, they want to show anger, the angry Black woman, and you’re so much better than that. Please hold your peace as much as you can, and don’t let these people take you off your greatness. You are a queen – we don’t go there, don’t do it.’
Because we were such a part of the show, the producers speak to us midway and said, ‘You guys have a boring show.’ And I said at the meeting, ‘Is that because we’re not fighting against each other? We’re not pulling each other’s hair out? We’re not negative against each other? Is that because we support each other, and we’re loving towards each other as women? You want to see the negativity because in your mind, drama is what gets the ratings.’ But at the same time right now, what we’re seeing is that the show so far – and this is midway through filming. so this is half way through filming – what we’re seeing now is that the show, so far the four episodes that they’ve shown have been very positive and very loving, and people are reacting to the positivity on the show. And so, they have the highest rating in TV One history, our show is the highest rated show in TV One history, and that’s positivity. This show is not negative so far, and yet you guys have the highest rated show in TV One history without any drama? That says a lot – that means it was never necessary in the first place. Real life has enough drama in it without having to add to it and create some stuff ’cause you guys want ratings. It’s just ridiculous, so it’s pretty sad, but we don’t control that.
Kelly is a wonderful person, and the way they treated her…it was so much more said. She apologized to Fred; she said the emotions that I have are because I was a child growing up with being put into certain situations by her cousin, and I can’t tell Kelly’s life for her; she’s going to have to speak for herself, but there were things she wanted to protect of her life. And by giving it to Fred, who is this guy she met right then – when you guys saw us meet Fred in that scene, she had just met him for the first time, just like the audience saw us meeting for the first time, we met him that day. When we came to the theater, there’s this guy named Fred. Now everybody had told us about who Fred was. Chanté had mentioned him; you saw where Kelly said, ‘I’m not happy about that.’ Because she had her own director, she had someone who she was comfortable with, and now they kicked her guy to the curb and said they want Fred to come in. And I’m like, ‘Where did Fred come from?’ This was never part of the equation. Not only that, they had four meetings before we met Fred – they left us out of four different filming processes with Fred. So we never met Fred until that day. They had already met Fred and met with him four times, and they had already been working with him four times prior to me and Kelly. So when we got there, we were like, ‘Huh?’ Wait a minute. Now hold on, this Kelly’s idea, but you guys want to meet with this other guy Fred before she even gets a chance to really know who Fred is. She wanted to meet him, but she didn’t want to hire him – that was not her idea. This is her baby, and it’s like you come to everybody with an idea of your own, and then they just kick you out of the car and put someone else in place of who you have in mind. I think you’d be pretty pissed at that as well. So you only get bits and pieces. I keep telling people reality TV is not as real as you want it to be.