Sheree Whitfield of Real Housewives Of Atlanta Is Leaving—Why the Celebration?

The innanets are on fire with the news that Sheree Whitfield, star of the Real Housewives of Atlanta, is leaving the show after four years of wig-pulling, cat-fighting and more petty black girl drama than any one person should be able to stand.

Sheree told WetPaint Entertainment she’s leaving because she’s totally over the direction of the show, an intoxicating brew of sometime friendships, scorched loyalties and conspicuous consumption that’s made Sheree and co-stars NeNe Leakes, Phaedra Parks, Cynthia Bailey, Kandi Burruss and Kim Zolciak the talk of reality show crazy town.

Though rumors that she’d been fired began winding their way through social media a few weeks ago—Did NeNe issue an “it’s her or me” ultimatum? Did Bravo decide her storyline is too boring? Is she being dismissed because she’s too broke to rep the “living large” lifestyles of the Real Housewives franchise?—Sheree insists it was she who made the decision to leave.

After four solid seasons of helping Bravo build the show into its most successful Housewives franchise, I have decided to leave. The direction the show is going in is no longer a fit for my lifestyle. I’m tired of the fighting and the cattiness.

I want to be part of something that empowers and inspires women to not only be healthy, but to treat themselves with respect. I wish the rest of the women the best of luck. I’m thrilled to say I’m now a free agent and am already fielding offers.

Let the innanets tell it and you would think an Atlanta McMansion finally fell on the Wicked Witch of the West. Everywhere I turned this morning, there were fiery comments about Sheree, each one more cruel than the last. Between the “boo, bitch, byes” and the “shut the door on your way outs,” there were the deeply disturbing comments calling the divorced single mother of three stupid, raking her over the coals for trying to get her deadbeat ex-husband, former Atlanta Falcon Bob Whitfield, to pay child support, and making fun of her for downsizing from a mansion to a tiny apartment with what appeared to be very little furniture.

While I can’t claim to be #TeamSheree—yes, I watch the show; yes, I wrote NeNe’s book; yes, I think Sheree manufactured, started, escalated and failed to finish a lot of the catty silliness the women foolishly fought over; yes, my favorites are Phaedra and Kandi because the two are working moms with brilliant business minds and don’t seem to have to pull anyone down in order to climb in their success—I’m really quite bothered by black women’s reverence and downright glee for seeing this single mom fail. Sure, Sheree probably made some questionable decisions in her day, but really, her story feels particularly sad to me: She had her first child at age 15, failed to finish high school, spent time in jail for shoplifting, married a rich guy, lived the good life—no doubt woefully unaware of her husband’s true financial worth or any real idea of how to handle the riches—got divorced, made more not-so-smart financial decisions (again, probably because she had no clue how to handle money) and, after four years of reality show checks, is trying to figure out how to feed herself and her two children. Key word: children.

Has Sheree made mistakes? You bet. Name one mother who hasn’t. But should we be holding parties with balloons, streamers and adult beverages because she’s lost her seemingly only paycheck and now is faced with having to figure out how she’ll keep a roof over her kids’ heads, keep food in their bellies and make a decent life for them as they grow?

I think not.

Now that she’s no longer going to be on the Real Housewives of Atlanta, the 42-year-old Sheree Whitfield says she plans to pursue a career as a fitness expert. Here at MyBrownBaby, we say good for her. We’re rooting for her as she tries to get her life together—not only for her reality star’s sake, but for the sake of her kids.

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Denene Millner

Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.

14 Comments

  1. I wouldn’t exactly say that I’m celebrating her demise; however, there is something to be said about KARMA. In one word, Sheree has never shown an ounce of humbleness. I think that’s where some of the backlash from viewers comes from. If you’re putting your business out there for everyone to see, and perpetrating to be all that and a bag of chips……. I think she lacks common sense in a lot of ways. Why would she not seek child support from the jump? Why would you she try to build Chateau Sheree knowing she didn’t have the finances? Why would she continue to buy expensive bags and furniture? In one word, PRIDE. She was so caught up in playing the facade, that she forgot to keep it real. I wish her the best, but don’t feel sorry for her.

  2. Actually I am going to celebrate this one, but not because I hate her. I am celebrating because she is finally free from the debacle known as RHOA. I think fitness would be a great way for her to go, and I hope she is a great success at it. I hope she doesn’t succumb to the many offers she’ll surely get to go on another show to act a fool. I wish her peace, prosperity, and growth.

    • Humility…humility.

      Anyway, I agree with you Brooke! I am happy that she’s leaving RHOA for what I hope are greener (saner) pastures. I think the likes of Nene and Marlo are just right for the show, as they have perfected the craft of acting a fool – which is how BRAVO wishes to portray Black women. Sheree is obviously not cut from that rare cloth. She would do well to expand her reach and put herself in a place where she can make use of her talent – which is clearly in fitness. Lord knows our community could use a good example of health and fitness to aspire to!

  3. I wish this woman well. She was acting a role. Though I didn’t know she was a high school dropout, it’s now clear why she didn’t capitalize on creating a business venture and using the show to advertise. Hopefully she will land in a good place. I don’t wish bad on anyone, no matter their behavior because no one knows their story. Black women need to quit with this, “hoping your sister fall on her face.”

  4. Au revoir Sheree. RHOA is one of my guilty pleasures and I am glad she is leaving for something better. Now given the fact that it is Sheree, I’m more apt to believe Bravo canned her rather than what she’d want us to believe. Two words – Chateau Sheree. Three words – She by Sheree. She’s a dreamer and I hope she can use her RHOA notoriety to launch a successful business and fitness may be her niche.

  5. What ever happened to her She by Sheree clothing line? Did that fold? I stopped watching RHOA after the 3rd or 4th season after Lisa left and Khandi came on. I agree with Raylene in that people are celebrating because of her lack of humbleness and she seemed to have that ‘attitude’ 24/7 that wore on everyones nerves! I know it is hard to see what is reality and what is staged for the show but it seemed like she really was stuck on herself and keeping up with appearances and always being a part of the good life!
    I hope she has something to fall back on so that she can at least support her kids!

  6. I am rooting for her too. She was not one of my favorites, but I think she was just trying to make things work with the resource she had. I think she will do good with the fitness venture. She is fit. I hope she does Socasize…vs. Zuumba. I would view it on demand. Good luck Sheree.

  7. I also think that she is trying to downsize, b/c she hinted about it in one of the episodes that she makes money from the show and her ex has no job. I think with her getting out of the spot light, she will now pursue him for back child payments.

  8. I’m a little surprised that Sheree is leaving because it seemed as if she lived for the drama. It has become uncomfortable to watch all the silliness on these women who I want so badly to identify with because I’m a black female. You’re right to point out that we’ve all made mistakes. No stones to throw here. What’s important for her now is to find another hustle and take care of her kids. And stay in her lane. How does that rap line go, “ain’t no future in your frontin’.”

  9. I’m also rooting for Sharee. She’s made some bad moves on the show, but I’m hoping that a lot of her antics were for the camera. RHOA is a minstral show. They wear lipstick and eye shadow instead of face paint. She’ll be a darn good fitness expert and I wish her much success. The way she has been behaving or portrayed on air to earn a paycheck isn’t worth it at the end of the day. Good move.

  10. Well written.Although she was extremely childish this season, i wish her the best of luck.She is a single mother that wants to cater to her family needs and i hope she is successful in her next venture.

  11. I’m rooting for Sheree too.

    I actually enjoyed her on the show, although she made me angry a few times (particularly this season with that South Africa/Black baby foolishness). But as you’ve stated, this show has been her livelihood for the last few years and, unlike most other reality starlets, she hasnt used it to launch a business that has successfully taken off. So essentially, she doesnt have much to fall back on, and that makes me sad. We only saw her son a couple times on the show (the young man who always seemed so sad and brooding to me, who she went out to play basketball with), but that’s real life. I hope she bounces back from this, and finds something bigger and better than RHOA ever was.

    Great post!

  12. This is my first time visiting your site and I just wanted to say, I love this post. Great writing.

    (It took me a while but I finally figured out what “innanets” was ;-> )

  13. I’ve only viewed a few shows in the past, but I wish the RHOA and others of that ilk would all be cancelled. We all need to see, and a lot of us need to express less Black female bitchiness and more compassion,uplifting, and understanding for ourselves and to each other.

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