These days, no one can get enough of reality TV. Through all of the drama, fights, and scandals, it can be the train wreck that you just can’t turn your head away from. The stars of the shows have no control over the editing of their characters, which can range from the villain, the weakling, or the damsel in distress. Their lives become the open book that we tear apart at the seams, covering the pages in the red ink of our judgments. We often times forget that they’re human—with emotions and families just like us.
On a rooftop in Brooklyn, I sat down with reality stars Emily B., and Meeka Claxton. Emily got a bad rep on “Love & Hip Hop.” She was called the “pushover” for rapper Fabolous. Emily even faced confrontation with another cast member claiming her that she slept with Fab. In a cobalt blue Catherine Malandrino floor-length knit gown, she expressed her side of the story that the cameras diidn't’ capture.
Meeka Claxton was no fan-favorite herself. On the third season of “Basketball Wives Miami", she was caught up in a whirlwind of drama, which led to cat fights that she wasn’t interested in engaging in. Aspiring to inspire young girls, and promote her business she explains why she had enough…and who exactly she had enough of.
EBONY: Emily I heard you have a new reality show coming out.
Emily: Yeah, me and Chrissy we have a show coming. The show is you know…it’s kind of like "Love & Hip Hop". You’ll see the same dynamic between me and her, you know the same way you saw on "Love & Hip Hop". You know we have those talks; we do some wild and crazy things. You know we laugh together and we cry together on this show.
EBONY: So since things sound so similar to your previous show, what made you decide not to return as a cast member of "Love & Hip Hop"?
Emily: Well you know I never want to do a show that I’m on, that I have to talk about somebody else. It was based on someone else. You know when I signed up for "Love & Hip Hop", it was supposed to be about me. After two years of filming, it wasn’t about me, they didn’t care about me, all they wanted to talk about was Fab. I couldn’t sign on to another season of talking about him, and not me. Let’s talk about me. I’m me, Emily B…lets talk about other things. They weren’t interested in that, the show is "Love…and Hip Hop". So yeah.
EBONY: Yeah with you and Fabolous, a lot of people were rooting for you, who had been in similar situations before themselves
Emily: I mean yeah what they had play on TV was crazy. It was edited. There was times when I had great scenes, I was laughing and doing other things. Working, and that doesn’t make the cut. All they want to see…they follow a story. So my role on that show was Damsel in Distress. I had to live with it. At the end of the day, I learned, I grew from it, and I’m a better person.
EBONY: How are you and Fab doing now that you’re completely done with "Love & Hip Hop"?
Emily: We are doing great. In that way the show is a blessing because it made him step out of the relationship as well, and see how I was feeling. He got to see how crazy he was looking, you know what I mean. So he makes better choices now. He suffered the consequences because everyday he has to deal with the ridicule from the show.
EBONY: On the show you were in the works of creating a fashion line, is that something you’re currently working on?
Emily: I’m still pursuing my clothing line. That was another thing that was edited. I sketch, I went to school for fashion design. It’s my passion, it’s my dream, and it’s everything that I’m serious about. So it sucks that they edited it that way.
EBONY: What else do you have currently going on?
Emily: Well you know, we’re filming the show, I’m working on the line, I’m still styling, I’m basically just working. I don’t want to let too much out. I have a non-profit that I’m working on for teen mothers. I was a teen mother myself, and I have a teenager now. It’s something very near and dear to my heart.
EBONY: Meeka you’ve been out of the spotlight since your season of “Basketball Wives” what have you been up to?
Meeka Claxton: You know what…before "Basketball Wives" what I think a lot of people didn’t realize besides bloggers who had Googled me is, I’ve always been a businesswoman. I’m an entrepreneur. I mean my husband, I mean he’s an athlete but thank God, he supports everything I do. He’s actually encouraged by me to do things on his own. So back in 2006 when we were married we formed Claxton Inc., and before the show we had our global relocation company, which aided athletes and entertainers moving around the country because we knew how to move! We’ve had to move to seven cities, 14 times in 10 years. It’s still in operation; we’re doing great with it. We’ve also added the military to our repertoire, and now we’re open to the public. I also have PRIVILEG’D which is a funky, edgy, little girls clothing line. It’s actually more of a lifestyle brand. When we first launched in 2011 we sold out in four days. We are in 13 boutiques right now.
EBONY: What did your husband Speedy, think of you being on “Basketball Wives”?
MC: My husband has never been a fan of reality TV, showing like dumb sh*t for real…because he said that’s not real. We don’t live our lives fighting over tables, we spend money…but we love to see that. So why not show where we came from, like the real New York urban streets…and together we started Claxton Productions. We’re actually in final stages of our first feature, which stars Jamal Woolard, who played Biggie in Notorious.
EBONY: Would you do a reality show again?
MC: I’m in talks with a couple networks actually to do something more so pertaining to business. Like I said I’m a woman about a platform of business, I’m not about drama. Contrary to what you think you know, I’m not about that stuff at all. I’m about women supporting women, cause we need that. I’m in talks with HGTV to do something about my real estate company, and with another network…a more diverse network. I mean life is drama, I don’t fight! That’s not my thing…but life is drama.
EBONY: What would you say to young girls watching “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” and “Basketball Wives”?
MC: You know what…this is something near and dear to me. I don’t let my kids watch it. They’re at the age where I can control what they watch. I have a niece who’s 15…I can’t control what she watches. She’s watched "Basketball Wives", she’s like Oh my God, Auntie Meeky! I was more upset and hurt that she had to witness something like that. So to little girls who watch reality TV, just understand that reality TV is just that—it’s television. There’s no show that follows you 24 hours without being edited. So without getting in trouble, by saying too much know this…real women don’t go around throwing blows, just for no f*cking reason and that’s real, and keep the curse word in there too! We live life through fiction, it’s art but when you’re saying that it’s reality and girls are watching, saying wow I could be with a ball player, I could be with a rapper if I show my butt. If I punch b*tches across the table. No that’s not cool. I never want kids to aspire to be anything like that. They really need to know, and understand themselves before anything else.
EBONY: What are the next immediate ventures that we’ll see from you?
MC: Privileg’d it’s funky it’s edgy; it’s a little girl lifestyle brand look for it Fall 2012 for its hard debut. Also Claxton Productions presents 730 starring Jamal Woolard. We also have Elite magazine, by athletes for athletes in 2013.