Basketball Wives of LA star Tanya Young recently revealed the secrets behind the outrageous drama that often takes place on reality shows. Young admits that she only wanted to show interesting aspects of her life and to bring attention to the national domestic violence hotline. However Hollywood had other ideas, and as soon as the camera rolled and fights broke out the producers knew that the ratings would climb. The Daily Beast reports:

My knowledge of the inner workings of Basketball Wives stems from my role as one, in the inaugural season of Basketball Wives LA. Though I was cautioned against participating in the series, my intention was to change the perception that wives of basketball players are flighty, overly emotional, and senselessly dramatic. I wanted to show interesting aspects of my life and also bring attention to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, for which I am a celebrity spokesperson. But as the proverb goes, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” And working on Basketball Wives was sheer hell.

Within weeks of taping Basketball Wives LA, there was a horrific fight between two cast members while we dined at a swanky Santa Monica restaurant. They argued and eventually fought over who was a “rat” versus a “hoodrat,” who was sleeping with a married man, who was the real bitch, who was fat, and whose teeth were “jacked up.” It was a surreal moment. I was paralyzed by shock and anger. I sat motionless as the women fought over my head and producers worked to break up the melee. However, the cameramen never lost sight of their target: the fight. They captured every moment, from every angle. The footage was the guarantee the producers needed to bait their audience during teasers for the premiere of Basketball Wives LA. As the women pulled out pieces of weave, called each other names, tore each other’s clothing, and struck each other in the face, the producers struck ratings gold—and they knew it.

Basketball Wives Miami, which I have never watched, has been a hit show since its launch in April 2010. The show features more women who have never been married to an NBA player than current or ex-wives, and like Basketball Wives LA, was created to entertain its audience with drama, drama, and more drama. Most of the cast members never worked in television and wanted nothing more than to be a star—no matter what the cost.

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