Tonight, a whole season of racial tension on “The Real World” came to a head, and to a certain extent, the producers are really the people to blame. They had to know to a certain extent what Jenna was like going into this season, and must have thought in some way that this experience would have reformed her. That didn’t happen, and when they started seeing a pattern of offensive behavior, they should have stepped in and stopped it rather than allowing it to continue.
As a result, we saw the most violent moment of the season as CeeJai’ punched Jenna hard in the face in a confrontation stemming from an incredibly racist thing Jenna’s friend said during a phone call. This was far from the first incident, since Jenna herself said many different offensive things before that.
Let’s pretend for a minute that Jenna’s argument is valid (which is not), and that she is guilty of nothing because her friend said the comment. She still laughed after it was said, and clearly thought it was funny and not in the least bit a problem. Therefore, her reaction associated herself with that comment in an unflattering light. She didn’t correct the comment, or even try to act like it was wrong until later.
Physical violence is ultimately not the answer, so we’re not going to say CeeJai’ was right to resort to it; yet, at the same time, we cannot speak for her situation or where she comes from or the feeling in the house where you cannot escape from it. We understand that there had to be rage in her at that point, so we can do our best to sympathize with her. Jenna’s comments and behavior have been horrible, and we still think her friend is getting off easy for not even having her face shown on TV.
As a result of the fight, CeeJai’ and Jenna were both put into hotels for the night, and the fact that the entire house sided with CeeJai’ spoke volumes. Eventually producers visited her and made it clear that they were sending both of them home early, and ultimately they didn’t have a choice. They’re liable for everything that happens there, and they cannot run that risk.
Now, let’s get back to the producers once more. We figure that in keeping Jenna in there for as long as they did, they hoped to create some sort of dialogue and show that racism is still alive in America. However, maybe their ambition / desire for drama was too high, since all this really amounted to was a pretty miserable, depressing hour where we saw someone being pushed to their limits because of the horrifying behavior of someone else. In turn, it’s led to more nastiness that we’ve seen on social media already.
Hopefully, this is the last time we ever have to mention Jenna in context of a TV show ever, since she may be one of our most-loathed reality TV personalities of all time.
The only thing following all of this chaos that was really compelling at all (and not in a good way) was seeing Dylan try to course-correct by proclaiming that he had a “master plan” to “break” people, and that is precisely what he did with Jenna. Right…
Beyond that, everyone said goodbye to the house in a final few minutes that was bright and a little more cheery, but it definitely didn’t make up for how we got there. Grade: D-.
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