Tamar Braxton has called out what she called the "exploitation" and "systematic bondage" of reality television in her first statement since being hospitalized after a reported suicide attempt earlier this month. The singer wrote in a lengthy Instagram post on Thursday that after LAPD responded to an emergency call from her residence in Los Angeles on July 16, she is on "an irreversible path to healing."
Thanking her fans and followers for their prayers and support, Braxton said she hoped her "darkest" days will be a "light" to others in a similar mental situation before discussing her experience in the reality TV industry, of which she has been a part for the past decade on WE tv's Braxton Family Values. Earlier this week, WE tv announced it would delay the upcoming spinoff Get Ya Life! due to its "concern" for the star's "recovery and well-being."
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"Over the past 11 years there were promises made to protect and portray my story, with the authenticity and honesty I gave. I was betrayed, taken advantage of, overworked, and underpaid," Braxton wrote on Instagram, alleging that two months prior, she had written a letter asking to be freed from "excessive and unfair" demands, only for her "cry for help" to be ignored.
Braxton continued that her personhood began to be degraded by the TV industry: "Who I was, begun to mean little to nothing, because it would only be how I was portrayed on television that would matter," she wrote. "It was witnessing the slow death of the woman I became, that discouraged my will to fight. I felt like I was no longer living, I was existing for the purpose of a corporations gain and ratings, and that killed me."
Calling for an end to the stigma surrounding mental illness, Braxton concluded with a plea for a union to be formed for reality TV personalities, whom she lamented currently have "no formal representation that protects our labor, our rights, our voices." She added, "They promise us opportunity but produce exploitation, which has only developed a poor portrayal of Black people in show business."
If you or someone you know are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.