Mona Scott Young is the featured subject of Sunday night’s episode of “Uncensored” on TV One.
Mona has had a storied career in entertainment which includes work in artist management for Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott and more, but she’s best known these days for her production studio Monami and for creating the highly successful reality series “Love & Hip Hop.” In her episode of UNCENSORED, she speaks candidly about bearing losses, her journey to success, and being vilified by the media — specifically, she says she feels she’s been critiqued more harshly than men in her profession.
“As a woman and as a woman of color, there is a responsibility that I have to protect the image of black women and of black people, as transmitted by the world, and I recognize that,” Mona admitted before continuing. “But what I also feel as strongly about is there is a right for every black person to tell their story. This right here was about the women in hip-hop who have relationships with these men and they have a right for their stories to be told. So that is something I will stand fast in and argue. What is sometimes is infuriating is that my counterparts, my white male counterparts, my white female counterparts aren’t held to the same scrutiny. The same criticisms that I’m held to because I am a black woman.”
“Why am I being vilified for doing this when in reality television there are shows that have run the gamut? There are tons of shows about white people that show the full range and it’s okay,” Mona argues. ” Nobody is hanging any of those producers out to dry, or saying that they are bringing down their culture for providing the very same opportunities to the cast members of those shows. It’s a hard pill to swallow and it’s something that I live with every day but going back to my very clear sense of who I am, what I contribute, what my relationship is with my cast, what my intentions are — my intentions are always to provide opportunities. That’s what this platform has done, that’s what this franchise has done, that’s what I’ve built with my company, both for people of color in front of and behind the camera and I sit firmly in that.”
She makes strong arguments — which she took a step further during an interview with Madame Noire this week to promote her “Uncensored” episode where she specifically was asked to address this double standard in regards to being criticized more than other producers such as Carlos King:
Absolutely! Absolutely. You look at Andy Cohen, you look at Carlos King — Carlos actually worked on the Love and Hip Hop franchise. But they’ve never been pinpointed in the same way. But I think it’s a little bit of the cross that we bear as women in any business we’re in. We’re held to a different standard. We’re scrutinized very differently. I don’t think anyone stops to think about how difficult it is to be competitive in this space. I’m one of the few Black women who own a physical production company. That in itself is an accomplishment I don’t think many people stop to credit and understand that it isn’t easy. And the whole idea that there’s something wrong with what we do by showcasing the lives of the women in this culture for me is something I’ll defend every single day because I feel like we should have the opportunity to tell all the stories, right? And hip-hop and the story of women in hip-hop is one set of stories of Black women and that story has as much of a reason to be told as any of the other stories that should, and will, and are being told. But yes, I definitely think there’s a different standard. It’s hard sometimes to listen to the things that people who don’t know me are saying, but for the most part, I have to be clear about what my intentions are. I have to be clear about who I am and not allow those things to distract me.
She’s definitely put a lot of thought into this. Do you agree that the double standard isn’t fair? Or do you think Mona still needs to own her role in the negative side of reality tv?
UNCENSORED airs Sunday’s at 10pm ET/9c on TV One. Will you be watching?