Although many people dont know her by name probably even less by face, Mona Scott-Young, executive producer and talent manager, is a huge behind the scenes figure in the increasingly popular wave of introducing African-American reality TV culture, or at least what is believed to be, to mainstream media. Scott-Young is a self-made businesswoman starting as co-founder and former President of Violator Management, where she steered the careers of artists such as Missy Elliot and Busta Rhymes. Currently Scott-Young has branched out and created Monami Entertainment, an entertainment company that extends her reach beyond just the music industry. In the film and television industry Monami Entertainment’s pioneer project is a docu-series titled Love and Hip-Hop and Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta.
Despite the second season premiere pulling $3.6 million viewers, VH1 and Scott-Young, Love and Hip-Hop executive producer and spokesperson, have experience a harsh backlash from certain members of the black community. Scott-Young has been called to explain how, as a black woman, she can promote such negative stereotypes of her own people. In her own defense, Scott-Young has gone on the records to justify the social relevance of the show arguing that all of the cast members choose to put their lives on display to tell their stories. “(They) have every right to tell their stories. I think they’re valid stories, and judging by the numbers, they’re stories that people want to see and hear about.”
1. According to Nielsen ratings, Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta is the most watched show among black women in the 18 to 49 age demographic. What do you think the appeal these viewers experience with the show is a function of their familiarity or unfamiliarity with the lifestyle?
2. In a capitalist society, can a person in Scott-Young’s position be criticized for preying on her own people to make a profit? or Is this becoming the norm in media portrayals of african-americans or other minority groups?
3. The major landscapes for the shows take place in New York and Atlanta where there is a huge presence of African-Americans, Do you think there are any implications in tv shows highlighting these cities as a melting pot for black affliction?