BET’s new hit show, The Quad which stars Anika Noni Rose, takes viewers inside the culture-rich world of Georgia A&M University, where the newly elected president Dr. Eva Fletcher (Rose) has her hands full managing a modern-day HBCU, and the drama that goes along with it. Some critics feel the show is not an authentic look at HBCU’s, but BET President Debra Lee, and Anika Noni Rose are pushing back.
Debra Lee’s statement to critics:
“I talked to Dr. Harvey the other day and we had a good conversation. He started off by saying conversation is key, and I listened to him and he listened to me. I respect his opinion,” Lee said. “My point that I emphasized was that this was a fictional story. It’s not representing any particular college. Fictional TV has drama, you have good guys and bad guys. We had a good conversation and I hope students, administrators and parents will take the issues that we’re dealing with on The Quad seriously and discuss them during and after the show, because we are dealing with serious issues that happen on all campuses, not just HBCUs.”
Anika Noni Rose statement to critics:
“Our shows have to be more positive, more respectable, more high-end that anything else that is seen,” she told EBONY. “I understand what that’s from. It’s because we aren’t seen enough, so we don’t have enough sides of us [shown] to sometimes feel comfortable. But if we’re going to show humanity and human behavior, we cannot only show the glossy parts. We cannot only show the PhD, full family, living on a hill with a fence. We can’t only show that because that’s not all of reality, that’s not all of humanity, and it’s dishonest to show that one side.”
“It’s really important to be clear that we are showing human life. Women do run institutions, women do have sex, hazing does happen at schools — all schools, not just HBCUs — people do affairs, it happens. It’s unfortunate, but it happens.”
To the Quad’s critics who have a problem with the show, the actress has some simple advice: “If it’s not for you, turn the station.”