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Orlando Brown and The Toxic Exploitative Nature of Reality TV



This year Orlando Brown joined the cast of “Bad Boys of Texas,” a Zeus Network offering. Those familiar with Brown understand why his addition would raise anticipation. However, recently a televised altercation between Brown and his cast mate raised more than ratings. The behaviors exhibited are not only eye-brow raising but raise concerns. And the over-imposing disconcerting inquiry is at what point does permitting such behaviors for keeping an audience entertained cross over into exploitation?

Orlando Brown Child Star


Orlando Brown. That's So Raven

Image Source: Instagram

Few do not know Orlando Brown. Orlando Brown has been a fixture in the industry for some time now. For many, their first encounter with Brown was as a co-star on Disney favorite “That’s So Raven.” Brown played the role of Eddie, one of Raven’s close friends. And he was quite the caricature, his comic relief a welcome part of the series. However, as is the inevitable course of most series, “That’s So Raven” concluded in 2007.

After the Lights Shudder

It was four years before Brown would see any significant work come his way. In 2011, he appeared in four episodes of a series entitled “The End”. Following “The End,” things were looking up. But in 2016, the script flipped, and Brown became infamous for erratic behavior and outbursts. Brown turned heads when he went public in 2016 with claims made about him and his former co-star Raven Symone. In the same year, he was jailed twice. Sportskeeda states,

“In 2016, the actor was arrested twice on charges of domestic violence, obstruction of justice, drug possession with the intent to sell and possession of contraband in jail.”

This was only the beginning of Brown’s erratic displays.

Brown Crashes in the Public Eye

In 2019, Brown sat down with Dr. Phil. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a flattering look. All witnesses knew that Brown still had much he continued to deal with.


Despite the unfortunate manner in which he presented, Brown continued to loom larger than life on social media. His off-brand behavior appears to be a boost. During this period, salacious statements were made regarding Sean Combs, Nick Cannon, and Bow Wow.

And each time, the virality of his actions increased his social media presence. However, such repetitive behaviors brought up one very poignant question. Where does one draw the line? At what point is giving someone a platform without a social responsibility to that person’s welfare cross the line into exploitation?

Spiral Continues Before Cameras

Brown was again arrested in 2022. Nevertheless, he was offered a job on the Zeus Network’s “Bad Boys of Texas” after his release. And as expected, Brown has become a series standout garnering colossal fandom.


However, it has been noted that Brown has been seen drinking and taking part in other activities threatening sobriety. Given former events, this is counterproductive and in no way aids in the star’s progress or healing.

When is It Enough

According to Madame Noire, a recent series episode displayed an almost brawl between Brown and another cast member. Brown reportedly jumped at a fellow co-star when some words were exchanged. But the recipient of Brown’s wrath did not respond in kind. As Madame Noire notes,

“The influencer said he wouldn’t fight Orlando because he knew he would “demolish” his turnt-up co-star with a nasty beat down.”

A Troubling Reckoning

Reality tv has a solid fanbase. It does not matter what the subject, Housewives, Offspring of Hip-hop, or Bad Boys; there is a ready audience if there is drama, trash talk, fights, or any other over-the-top entertainment. Unfortunately, that’s a cash cow for those who seek to cater to these crowds. Incidents like what was seen with Brown raise a lot of concern. As a community and culture, is there a social responsibility to others? How far is too far? Is capitalizing off another’s pain or lack of wholeness a sign of an issue that has been too far ignored? But more importantly, is it past the point of correction?

Written By: Renae Richardson

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