Executive Producer Phil Thornton On: ‘R&B Divas’ Cancellation, Fall-Out with Nicci Gilbert & Claudette Ortiz’s Departure [INTERVIEW]

Phil Thornton: The direction that Nicci turned the show. If you look at the drama and conflict in season 1 and season 2, it was mostly by one individual. We removed that individual. It was so dramatic, it was so negative, but it was coming from primarily one individual who was coincidentally an executive producer on the show, so go figure. Her antics were not instigated by that of myself or the rest of the production team. Everyone wants to blame…it’s production, it’s production. No, it was actually you! Tell the whole story. You did that. Tell the whole story! That wasn’t production instigated. That was you!

On whether or not Nicci Gilbert was fired from R&B Divas Atlanta or if it was a mutual decision:

Phil Thornton: I had no desire and have no desire to work with Nicci again so, you call it what you want, fired, quit at the same time…me and everyone collectively knew it was time to move on. I don’t really give a damn how she felt. I knew what I couldn’t be a part of and it was that foolery and that energy that she brought. It was very negative, it was very disrespectful to everybody involved. I saw it first hand. It wasn’t a good time and it carried over to the show.

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On why Claudette Ortiz is not returning to R&B Divas LA:

Phil Thorton: I love Claudette. Claudette was an amazing addition to the cast. She’s got so many great things happening in the future. It was time for her to move on. You may see her on a cameo in the future. She’s doing the music, she’s got some acting things and some other opportunities. I’m happy for her.

On claims of the show manipulating things during editing to boost ratings:

Phil Thornton: I value how people are perceived. I’m not trying to manipulate anybody for the sake of the ratings. We can only show what we’re given. If you give me funny, I’m going to show funny. If you give me you showing and acting a fool, unfortunately that’s what we’re going to have to use in the edit room….Some things have been really toned down tremendously. When you give me just crazy, crazy, crazy on and of camera, well that’s what it is. It’s so much that we don’t show. If I sat you down one day and showed raw footage, your mouth would drop.

On whether he is included it Nicci Gilbert’s lawsuit:

Phil Thornton: I’m sure I’m referenced at some point, but if I keep seeing slanderous comments there’ll be another lawsuit.

On additional spin offs:

Phil Thornton: It’s always a discussion. I’m open to it, but as of now we’re not developing anything.

Thornton is currently producing “It’s a Mann’s World“, a family friendly series which showcases the lives of David and Tamela Mann of “Meet the Browns” fame. The show airs Wednesdays on BET. He also produced a film, “Lap Dance“, which is in select theaters now. For all things Phil Thornton, follow him on twitter @phillionaire.

Listen to the full interview here:


Authored by: tjbwriteratlanta