‘Atlanta Exes’ Tameka Raymond pens open letter to fans

Tameka Raymond

Tameka Raymond blames editing for negative portrayal on “Atlanta Exes”

Usher’s ex-wife Tameka Raymond sets the record straight when it comes to her “alleged” mean girl reputation. If you’ve been watching “Atlanta Exes” you may agree that the show hasn’t painted the celebrity stylist in the best light. But is editing the true cause behind Raymond’s negative portrayal on the hit reality TV show? Well, the 43-year-old seems to think so. Recently, the reality star penned an open letter to her fans where she thanked strangers for the kindness they’ve shown her and more. Check it out below…

I’ve been the recipient of kindness from total strangers during the most difficult times in my life. Men, women and young people have expressed goodwill and given me assurance that their prayers have had my name attached to them. Thank you. For this reason, I feel I owe it to my friends and supporters a better understanding of the most recent “Atlanta Exes” episodes. Many are confused because their personal interactions with me were totally opposite with what they see on television. There’s a reason for this…

Drama is value. Be it good or bad. No other place is this understood more than the medium of television. As with any reality show, we filmed hundreds of hours from which aggressive editing was initiated to elevate tension and create story. All of us, the entire cast understood this going in. We signed up for it. However, several scenes were placed together that did not happen in real time as they appeared. One joke, one side-eye or one critical comment transposed to another unrelated scene can create synthetic arguments that in reality did not occur. Editing can be and is dangerous!

The episodes you are watching were shot during the months of January through April of 2014. In those months, I was faced with the daunting task of moving out of my home, learning of my 6 year old’s diagnosis of (Type 1) juvenile diabetes, and enduring the trial surrounding my son, Kile’s death. Oh and filming a show…

When you watch the show, you may wonder why I ‘appear’ to be so negative. Or you may ask yourself, why did that happen? Or why did she say that? –I was going through a lot in my life. This isn’t solicitation for pity, rather understanding, especially from those who’ve experienced such times in their lives. I felt we were putting together a fluid narrative, but the editors took much of the logic out in the editing room and omitted a few kinder, more lighthearted scenes. So, much of what you saw attitude wise didn’t make sense. And when things don’t make sense the viewer assumes the worst – which is exactly what is happening.

To be fair, my extremely critical nature was birthed from my work as a stylist to the stars, but even before that – I’m an Oakland girl :). I built my professional stylist career using insight and vision to understand how to enhance a client in all aspects. The truth is… I’m critical by nature, a quick thinker and some would say a little snarky. It is my nature and it has been my profession to change things and make them better. There is a natural comedic side to me as well, so somethings said, were said in pure fun. That’s just apart of who I am.

When “Atlanta Exes” came together, I was actually proud to be a part of this group of strong women who have all shared the same experience of being married to a celebrity. I had turned down several other reality series because none of them had the promise of presenting a positive take away for the viewers. This show was supposed to be different. It was to be about ‘sisterhood’ and shared experiences between like-minded women. It was supposed to be positive and inspiring.

As you have seen in only three episodes, it has gotten out of hand and turned into something like the other Reality Series – the same ones I turned down in the past. The ones that further the stereotype of Angry/bitter Black women. I am disappointed and frustrated to be presented like that. I am not that woman. I am blessed with a wonderful family, genuine friendships, and vast opportunities to inspire and affect change in the lives of millions. A responsibility I take seriously.

Every woman on the show is beautiful, dynamic and talented in their own right, we are all mothers and most importantly we have shown our resilience. Although what I say may seem harsh, it comes from a sincere place. Besides, I only critique people I care about. I realized over the past couple of weeks that I too need to work on a few character flaws and soften my approach when dealing with friends. I’m no better than anyone else, I bleed when cut, cry when hurt, PMS, have bad vision, bad feet LOL, etc.. but I am different than a lot of people. Better? No, but extremely different.. strong YES!!!

R. Hawkins
R. Hawkins

Humble with a hint of Muhammad Ali...

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