Draya Michele is far removed from her days as a cast member on VH1’s Basketball Wives: Los Angeles – and she has no plans to ever return.
Draya was on Basketball Wives from 2011 until 2015. The show has served as a stepping stone for the Philadelphia native who went on to launch a successful swimwear line called Mint Swim. The 34-year-old beauty, who is also a budding actress and model, said she could no longer stand behind the show’s negative portrayal of Black women.
“Basketball Wives has this stereotype of these angry Black women and I feel like more than just Black people watch it. People who aren’t familiar with Black culture take that and they think that is what they are. I feel really, really bad that I was a part of that and contributed to that,” she told Justin Sylvester.
Draya also said tying drama to a Black cast is a deliberate formula to gain viewership.
“I think somewhere down the line we messed up to where it was like, okay, let’s get Black people on TV and let’s let them act a fool because other Black people will want to see that. I think now we’re dependent on that and Black shows won’t work unless it has that drama and that rawness and that aggressiveness and the fights and security coming in and breaking things up. They’ve allowed that. I think that’s what, when we see our people, that’s what we expect to see. We expect to see us fighting, and if we’re not, we don’t want to see it.”
Although Draya hasn’t been associated with BBW:LA for four years, she said she has lost opportunities due to her appearance on the Shaunie O’Neal- executive produced series.
“I still haven’t fully broken it,” she said of separating herself from the show. “It’s still is kind of like a thing that still haunts me. There’s a lot of closed doors behind that show. I work every day so that those doors that were closed, those opportunities that I want, those nos will become yeses.”