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On Wednesday, WeTV aired a promotional clip of an upcoming episode of Marriage Boot Camp: Hip Hop Edition, which showed participant Tahiry Jose being physically assaulted by her partner at the time — rapper Vado.
The clip was released by Dr. Ish Major, a Board-certified psychiatrist, relationship, and life coach who works with the couples on the show to hash out their issues, and of course, the clip received the attention Major expected.
My initial reaction to the clip was to retweet it with supportive words for Tahiry, but I quickly deleted the tweet after taking a moment to consider my own actions.
Tahiry, a victim of domestic violence, would likely be triggered by seeing her attack replayed over and over again on social media. In the clip, she looked visibly shocked.
Despite several other men in the room, nobody but Major moved to help her or restrain Vado. The only person in the room to speak out and challenge Vado’s violent behavior was another woman on color.
It’s such a cliche, but Malcolm X’s famous quote from 1962 came to mind: “The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman.”
My biggest issue with the clip is that it should have never aired in the first place. Yes. Reality television is supposed to show the real lives of its cast — but where does the well-being of its cast come into play for the network?
Shortly after the clip aired, Tahiry spoke out about the attack and pretty much stated that she was not comfortable with the footage being made public.
I’m not naive. I know that controversy sells, and that ratings for tonight’s episode will likely be one of the highest this season — but even if the network decided to air the episode, Tahiry’s pain should not have been used for clickbait.
A Board-certified doctor should have known that…