Disclaimer: I don’t know Tami Roman, and aside of interviewing Jennifer Williams, don’t affiliate with any of the Basketball Wives. These are my professional thoughts, so please keep your tentative gripes relegated to the comments for discussion purposes.
I’ll admit that I’m a reality junkie at times. I just think some reality shows and their success is fascinating. I’ve also talked about reality stars and celebrity branding and the allure of reality celebrities for business and social media marketing, profiling Kim Kardashian as a great celebrity brand. Now, I’m going to discuss Tami Roman and why her response to her recent social media PR crisis hurt her brand more than it helped.
Tami Deletes Twitter Amid Bullying Backlash
On May 14, 2012, Basketball Wives’ latest episode featured the cast in Tahiti. During vacation, seemingly out of nowhere, an angry Tami confronted Kesha about things she said several episodes (and in actuality, months) earlier.
Most people are aware of Tami’s anger management issues – they’ve seen her in anger management with a therapist and talking about the need to get her anger under control before. Instead of feeding into what looked like a no-win situation, Kesha walked away from an “inebriated” Tami’s confrontation, leaving behind her purse, which Tami said she wouldn’t get without confronting her.
Viewers who were highly upset with Tami’s behavior gave Roman a bitter dose of her own medicine on Twitter, where the star was tweeting live during the broadcast. Among things got too heated, Roman deleted her account, and posted the following statement on Facebook:
“I deactivated my twitter for the time being because I have been blessed with a wonderful opportunity to work with phenomenal actors on a new television show. I didn’t want to wake up on the continual negativity from a mistake made over four months ago, which I have openly acknowledged and apologized for to overshadow the blessing of this moment. I plan to reactivate my twitter when a formal announcement has been made about this new opportunity with the hopes of putting Basketball Wives behind me.”
Tami’s Social Media Crisis
Tami’s social media crisis centers on incongruence. She talked the talk on camera, on the reunion shows and all over social media, but she tripped on walking the walk. Because of this, she looks like a hypocrite and fans are second guessing her street cred.
Love My Black blogger Jennifer Robinson agrees that Tami’s behavior has “forever ruined her credibilty.”
“Tami built her ‘reality persona’ on [being] someone who feels no regret, doesn’t hold back and will put her hands on anyone who even attempts to slide her. That is the image that she chose to create. Deleting her account because of some TWEETS really shows who she is as a person. People who were willing to take her apology and run with it will now consider her weak.”
If You’re Going to Be the Villain, Go Full Retard
Tami, by nature, portrays herself as blunt and honest. However, what you witnessed on that specific episode was bullying. Those scenes placed Tami in the role of a typical reality show villain, which was to be expected. Usually, when you’re the villain, you live up to your title. You revel in the glorious experience of being the Queen Bitch.
Playing the villainess, my dear, requires standing up to the audience, even if you’re remorseful. So
logging out deleting one social media account and then talk about why you did it (and when you will come back) on another – it’s damaging. If you’re going to delete anything, at least say it directly to those where they can be found. Otherwise, guess what? You’re just as weak as the people you’re bullying, if not weaker. And trying to wash it up with excuses like, “Oh I have another amazing television opportunity that I don’t want overrun by this” doesn’t help.
If you’re going to be the Queen Bitch… Be. The. Queen. Bitch.
And even if you’re remorseful about it later, maintain your “never back down, never give up” persona in a manner that shows you’re aware you made a mistake, but will not allow anyone to run you off because of it. Live by your decisions.
Robinson offers insight on how Tami could have better handled the situation. “She should have stood her ground, issued her apology and moved on in a positive light to display sincerity. She can give a few interviews to speak out on her actions, how they have affected her life… how they’ve affected others’ lives, become an advocate for anti-bullying and live by it. Now, nothing she says or does will be taken seriously and any thing that she does do will be greeted with a side eye and a #bishplease…all because she ran.”
Basketball Wives itself has come under heavy fire this season. Angry viewers, who’ve had enough of this madness after four seasons, feel it’s time for the show to change or shut down. In fact, criticism has been so harsh that major advertisers, including Summer’s Eve, are pulling their ads after viewership dropped nearly 12%. Former BBW-LA cast member Tanya Young stated that she doesn’t miss the “toxic and controlling” environment of the show, alleging that negativity was deliberately seeded to create drama among castmates.
“Despite the ‘friendships’ portrayed on the screen, some producers purposely planted seeds of discord between the women, and told outright lies, hoping that conflict and drama would ensue.”