The Cruel Reality TV Exploitation of Whitney Houston – Rolling Stone

in the new Whitney Howson Biography I wanna Dance With SomebodyAnd the Houston’s mother had her daughter escorted from her home by police (in front of her young daughter, Bobbi Kristina) after finding Houston in a drug stupor following her father’s death. Next, we see Houston in a quiet recovery at a rehab center and, later, a recreation of her emotional comeback at the The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2009. The film cropped up most of the 2000s From The Houston Story, including a starring role in the 2005 reality series Disturbing user Bobby Brown.

The 11-episode saga followed Brown and Houston, their daughter Bobbi Kristina, her half-siblings Labrencia and Bobby Jr., Brown’s brother Tommy, and his father Herbert. But the couple were the main draw of the show that chronicled Houston’s mood, Bobby’s difficulty, and the general feeling that the couple – especially Houston – got on well. “Behind the scenes, Houston was used again,” Vanity Fair mentioned.

However, the show was mostly received with derision and disdain rather than interest and concern. An early hit for Bravo, which is now known for The Real Housewives franchise, Being Bobby Brown I was It said the network’s highest rated show at the time. His toughness is what makes him I wanna Dance With Somebody I feel the need to embrace her beloved Houston after years of media exploitation fueled by condescension and sensationalism.

The series allowed its producers and titular star to capitalize on Houston’s plight and dysfunction in her marriage. Before the show premiered, Brown admitted it was all in the service of his image. He said, “On a daily basis, I’m trying to prove my point, that I’m better than I’m bad.” New York times.

In doing so, he thought the world would see just how tough Houston can be. The big thing for Bob is that everyone blames him for her downfall, but when he met her she was really used drugsKaren Stephens said Vanity Fair.

Stefans is a former music video composer and model who was Brown’s lover in the 2000s while married to Whitney. He always felt so angry about it. He told me, ‘What everyone saw wasn’t the real Whitney.’ He would always say her own personality – which I saw Being Bobby Brown —she was who she really was.” But instead of appreciating Brown, the show insulted both of them. “Not only does it reveal Brown to be more vulgar than the tabloids suggest, but it simultaneously succeeds in robbing Houston of any last shred of dignity,” wrote one critic. “. Hollywood Reporter.

Tracy Baker Simmons, one of the show’s executive producers, claimed she wanted to tell the Brown and Houston story outside of the headlines. “Beyond all the negative publicity, we wanted to know what else is out there for these people,” she said He said.

Brown allowed 24/7 access to himself and his family, but the result fueled rather than challenged the mainstream narrative. Mark Hoferlin is the editor of the documentary Whitney: Can it be me, which employed excerpts from Being Bobby Brown, Hint that it doesn’t have to be that way. “This show itself comes across as a train wreck show,” he said. Jezebel. “It’s not shot like that. It’s shot so well and noticed and I don’t know if that was the intention to do this kind of reality TV show.”

For Bravo, though, the humble humiliation of the once beloved stars seemed to be the point. Lauren Zaleznick, Bravo’s president at the time, reportedly greenlit the series in 15 minutes. “It was very clear to me that this was a Bravo thing,” she said He said. “It’s very tangible. You feel something when you watch this show.” Zalaznick has been on a mission to promote “midbrow” TV, claim that “the canal has truly become the fullest expression of high and low culture”. Described display like top chef ambition, while The Real Housewives – where, among other things, rich women quarrel and betray each other – the audience can watch with a sense of moral superiority. Being Bobby Brown Fits easily into this box as well.

In 2009, Houston said opera She agreed to be on the program to quell Brown’s jealousy of her power and character, and to rebuke the world’s scorn for their marriage. Therefore, she downplayed her success and increased the role of her wife.

“I was trying to make a statement, like, ‘You guys are not going to win,'” Houston said. We got married. We used to love each other. We were crazy for each other. We wanted to have a family. I just won’t let you do that to us. I’m not like this. However, she admitted that the fighting was pointless: “Somehow it got kind of messy and got lost in there.” And then we started doing other things that went into the marriage that you can’t just walk out when you have so many external things going on.”

Seven years later Being Bobby Brown aired, Brown admitted that watching it revealed the way drugs affected them as a couple. “We were able to see the effect of drug use on our relationship, and it affected the love we feel for one another,” He said.

Instead of reviewing behavioral problems and addictions in Houston, I wanna Dance With Somebody He puts drug use in her pain. We first see her smoking bong with her siblings to escape a vicious fight between her parents. Later, we see her pull out her tools after she goes down to her husband only to find he’s not there — and, presumably, with another woman. In this way, the film’s portrayal of Houston is gentle — she can still be gritty or tough, but the film carries her with sympathy and tenderness.

Some film critics have condemned it as is very Precious with drug use in houston. “I feel this kind of need to respect the story, but then at the end of the day, [the biopic] It just felt like an overcorrection to me…in that, like, he didn’t really dig into it,” He said Aisha Harris from NPR. The media’s indifferent treatment of Houston, personifies it Being Bobby Brownis exactly why this hasn’t happened.

Whitney Houston and husband Bobby Brown attend the VH1 Divas Duets after-concert party at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 22, 2003, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Fraser Harrison/Getty Images

The show only lasted one season. Houston refused to appear In a second, so it’s not picked up again, though It said Hope it is. A year after the show ended, Houston filed divorce papers for Brown. The filming period of 2004 became a turning point. during recording Being Bobby BrownBrown was prison for about a month after multiple probation violations stemming from a 1996 DUI charge. One of violations She allegedly hit Houston in the face so hard that she bruised her cheek and slashed her inner lip.


While Brown was behind bars, his sister Tina lived with Houston because she was in the throes of her drug use, and she sold scary stories about her addiction. The National Enquirerwhich they posted in March 2006 (along with a photo of Pusha T and Kanye West at the end — and insensitive — used as the 2018 album cover Daytona). By 2007, Houston’s divorce from Brown was finalized.

In recent years, Brown has had He regretted For show – specifically, to pull his daughter Bobbi Kristina, who Died in 2015 under similar circumstances as her mother, at that. Think of the infamous Houston interview with Diane Sawyer where she declared that “Crack is whackHe also admitted, “There was no reason for that [Houston] To be on TV, at that time.”

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