Why Is Tootie & Regine (aka Kim Fields) on Season 8 of ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta?!!!’


Hello World,

I’m not going to be a hypocrite…I do watch “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” every season…Yes, I look forward to the rollicking ratchetness that is RHOA…But it not something that I brag about…And now that the Queen of RHOA aka NeNe Leakes is gone, I had wondered if there was a reason to watch at all this season…But the producers have done it again!!! They have found a way to get my eyeballs back on the screen. Kim Fields aka Tootie from “The Facts of Life” aka Regine from “Living Single” has joined the cast of RHOA for its latest season, which will debut on premiering Sunday, November 8 at 8/7c. If you are a ’70s baby, you know Kim Fields! She was one of the few people I saw on television who looked like me when I was growing up in the ’80s! Remember how cute she was whirling around the campus of Eastland School on her roller skates with her pressed pig tails and wide grin? And then in the ’90s, she was the lovable, wannabe bougie princess from the ghetto Regine on “Living Single?” And remember when Kim Fields was Nathan’s love interest on the Boyz II Men video for “On Bended Knee?” Most recently, she was a producer and lead director of Tyler Perry’s “Meet the Browns” and “House of Payne.” And these are just a few of her accomplishments! So with a résumé like that, what does Kim Fields need with the ratchet RHOA?!!!

Kim Fields is also a friend to my blog! I interviewed her back in 2011 as she was promoting her Christmas television special “Holiday Love.” If you haven’t read the interview, please read “Check out Kim Fields in her TV Christmas Special ‘Holiday Love’ Airing on Christmas Day!!!” I asked her about how she became a Christian in Hollywood at age 14 and about being one of the few black people on television at that time particularly as a child star. But although she is a friend to this blog, and it was privilege to interview her, I have to be honest and say that I’m not sure if this show is the right move for her. First of all, reality TV has a way a ripping apart lives…If you don’t believe me, read my blog post “Why Mary Mary May Need To Get Off Reality TV…My Open Letter to Erica & Tina Campbell.” In the blog post, I referenced a New York Post article “Scott’s suicide reveals tragic side of city’s glitzy scene”  by Maureen Callahan in which she reported that, “over the franchise’s eight-year lifespan, 12 Real Housewives have filed for bankruptcy, one has been evicted on camera, several have battled substance-abuse issues, one couple has pleaded guilty to fraud in federal court, one husband has been indicted for fraud and identity theft, and one husband has committed suicide.” I’m not saying that these types of tragedies will happen to Kim Fields (who is happily married with two sons), but why would you take the chance? And as a Christian, I just don’t know how she is going to resist being pulled down by some of the attention-seeking antics of her cast mates. I’m not saying that Christians have to cloister themselves in the church never to interact with others but RHOA is a cesspool…

kim rhoa

And finally, I’m somewhat disappointed that Kim Fields is not reppin’ for the sisters with locs anymore? When I met Kim Fields back in 2011, she had long, beautiful, blonde locs. And now from the promotional shots for season 8 of RHOA that I’ve seen, she is no longer wearing them. Before anyone gets nasty, I think how a woman wears her hair is a personal choice. However, the woman of RHOA are known for being pretty much “unbeweavable” if you get my point, and it would have been nice to see a woman rocking her natural hair on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.”…It makes me wonder if Kim Fields did that just for the show…If that is the case, that just may be the harbinger of hell of what is to come this season…But I will be watching…Will you?

Any thoughts?

Tyler Perry To Speak at Willow Creek Community Church

Hello World, tyler perry

The summer is a wonderful time to go to conferences. You potentially get to visit a new city or country and learn from leaders in subject areas that inspire you! I just came back from North American Christian Convention in Indianapolis last week, and I hope to attend another conference before the summer is over…

If you are a Tyler Perry fan, you may want to attend The Global Leadership Summit which will be held on Aug. 14-15 at Willow Creek Community Church campus in South Barrington, IL. According to the summit website, the conference is designed for your “entire leadership team’s staff and volunteers, key influencers and innovators within the community, emerging leaders, and students with leadership gifts.”

Perry will speak during session 7 about “When Leadership Meets Inspiration.” For those that don’t know Perry’s bio, below is his bio from the summit website:

  • Born into poverty and raised in a household scarred by abuse, Tyler fought from a young age to find the strength, faith and perseverance that would later form foundations of his work
  • Recipient of the 2004 Black Business Professionals’ Entrepreneur of the Year award, he leads a massively successful entertainment empire, employing 350 people from his 30-acre Atlanta studio, with five sound stages and a post-production facility
  • As a part of his inspiring body of work, including the now-legendary Madea franchise, Tyler has produced, written, and directed a dozen stage plays, five TV series, and 15+ feature films—staring in several of these projects, as well as recently completing a part in David Fincher’s next film, Gone Girl
  • Perry hasn’t forgotten about those who helped him along the way, and is intimately involved in supporting charities focused on civil rights, homelessness, and rebuilding the lives of disaster survivors in New Orleans and Haiti

Besides Tyler Perry, other faculty members include – Bill Hybels, founder and senior pastor, Willow Creek Community Church; Wilfredo De Jesus, senior pastor of New Life Covenant Church and one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People 2013; Allen Catherine Kagina, commissioner general of the Uganda Revenue Authority and more…Below is a promo video for the conference…

I wonder if Tyler will address his trademark of the popular question “What Would Jesus Do?” While I am a Tyler Perry fan, I’m not sure how I feel about his ownership of this question…And at the same time, I respect the business acumen that obviously fueled his decision to register the trademark…

Lisa-McClendonIn other conference news, if you want to visit the A and are a gospel music fan, check out the Atlanta Gospel Fest Music & Healthcare Festival to be held at the Cobb Galleria Centre on Aug. 1-2. Some of the headliners to appear at the festival concerts include Natalie Grant from “It Takes a Church,” Vickie Winans, J. Moss and Lisa McClendon, who was featured in my book “After the Altar Call: The Sisters’ Guide to Developing a Personal Relationship With God.” For more information, go atlantagospelfest.com.

What conferences are you going to this summer?

Any thoughts?



ReShonda Tate Billingsley’s ‘Let the Church Say Amen’ Premieres at MegaFest 2013!!!

Hello World,

ReShonda Tate Billingsley, Regina King, Hosea Sanchez & Brely Evans

ReShonda Tate Billingsley, Regina King, Hosea Sanchez & Brely Evans at the premiere…

Bishop T.D. Jakes’ MegaFest 2013 in Dallas is making headlines from Tyler Perry laying hands on the bishop AND donating $1 million to help build a youth center to mega artists Jennifer Hudson, Erica Campbell, Joe and more performing at the Women of Purpose concert!

Aside from these fantastic events, it was also the premiere of “Let the Church Say Amen,” a movie based on the best-selling novel by ReShonda Tate Billingsley, which was featured as a part of the First Annual International Faith & Family Film Festival at MegaFest 2013 ! As a fellow author, I am truly inspired by ReShonda’s success, and I wanted to highlight her achievement here. Below is a summary of the movie.

The audience watching "Let the Church Say Amen."

The audience watching “Let the Church Say Amen.”

Twenty-one-year-old Rachel Jackson (Naturi Naughton) is a wayward preacher’s kid who is struggling to pull her life together. With a six-year-old son out of wedlock and a high school diploma, Rachel’s mission in life is to marry her son’s father in order to forge a traditional and respectable family and regain her father’s respect.

LET THE CHURCH SAY AMEN is a powerful journey through one family’s trials and tribulations and a remarkable story of reconciliation and love. This two-hour movie of the week will be a BET Premiere Cinema event starring Steve Harris, Naturi Naughton, Lela Rochon, Hosea Sanchez and Collins Curtis Pennie. The film is Executive produced by Reina King and co-produced by Queen Latifah, Shakim Compere, Shelby Stone, Roger Bobb and Regina King who is also making her directorial debut. LET THE CHURCH SAY AMEN is a BET Networks, Royal Ties and Flavor Unit Production.

Below is my interview with ReShonda! Check it out!

1. As a fellow author, when you wrote your book “Let the Church Say Amen,” did you ever dream that it could be made into a movie? When I first start writing, I don’t do it with a movie in mind, but of course, like many authors, I dream for all of them to be on the big screen. It just doesn’t play a role in my writing process.

2. And for my fellow authors and dreamers out there, how did this movie come to be? By being nice. I know that sounds like a cliché but I bought a book for a woman who didn’t have enough money for a book. She gave it to her sister who worked for an airport bookstore. One day, Juanita Bynum was in that store and the sister convinced Rev. Bynum to buy my book. Long story short, she did, loved it and got in touch with me to ask my permission to take it to Hollywood. The journey to where I am today was a long one, as we’ve had several delays over the years, funding issues, and normal “movie delays.” But Regina King, who was set to direct the movie and her sister/business partner Reina King, believed in the project and kept fighting for it. Eventually, they partnered with Queen Latifah’s Flava Unit and got a deal with BET, who was getting into original programming. They bought four of my other novels, including “Everybody Say Amen,” “Say Amen, Again,”and “I Know I’ve Been Changed.”

3. How is the movie different from your book or did the movie match what happened in your book? As with all novels that are made into movies, you will see a condensed version of my novel. Many people don’t know this, but they take a 300-400 page novel and shrink it to about 90 pages, so a lot of things have to go. Although there are a few key changes, they definitely captured the essence of the book.

4. What has been the most surprising experience you’ve had as you watched your words being turned into a movie? The most surprising experience I would have to say is that they let me be a part of it from beginning to end. When production companies buy your novel, you sign the contract and receive your check, which is normally where the communications stop. It is rare that they let an author be involved, so I am extremely blessed to be involved behind the scenes, and on camera. Yes, I also have a small part in the movie…yes, a speaking part. But perhaps the best feeling was watching the crowd reaction at the recent screening of the movie. I had seen the movie, but watching it with a crowd, that loved it, made me feel …. Full.

5. I know you probably can’t pick favorites, but what actor in the movie is your favorite and why? And if you don’t want to answer that, how have the actors brought your story to life in a way that you haven’t thought about before? What was it like to work with Regina King? Oh, my God, I can’t. For real, because they were all phenomenal. I couldn’t have asked for a better cast! Each actor brings their own flavor to make their character come to life. And to see the passion and commitment they brought to the roles meant the world. It’s like each person chosen was meant for that role. Casting director Robbie Reed did an AMAZING job. And Regina, I simply love her. Both her and her sister. They made sure that I was not only included, but happy with the direction of the story and the characters. I was a fan of Regina before. But just based on her on-screen work. Now, it’s how she is off-screen that has made me a fan for life.

6. How was your film chosen to be screened at MegaFest, and is this the first time the film has been shown to an audience? What did you think? What did the audience think? It was chosen to be screened at MegaFest because of T.D. Jake’s relationship with BET. BET believes in this project and worked with him to make it the official television entry at the festival. This was the first time it was shown to an audience. Seeing it for the first time on the big screen was priceless. I’ve never been so excited and proud. (I only wished my mom could have been sitting in the audience watching.) The audience, which was a seating capacity of 800 people, was full and we had to turn away hundreds of people. They loved it. They laughed, cried and gave a standing ovation when it was over. It was the highlight of my literary career. (That, and winning the NAACP Image Award in 2012)

7. What’s next for the movie? And also, besides this current movie, which book would you like to see made into a movie next and why? I don’t have an actual release date yet. They’re still working out the details because there is the possibility that it could go to the big screen (say a prayer, y’all). Once I know, I’ll make sure all my readers know as well. As I said earlier, I would love to see all my books made into a movie. But honestly, if I had to pick, my top three would be “The Secret She Kept,” “Holy Rollers,” and “I Know I’ve Been Changed.”

Also, please share anything else you would readers to know! I would like to thank all my readers for their continued support and I urge them to follow me on facebook at reshondatatebillingsley and on Twitter at Reshondat so we can keep them updated on the movie.

Any thoughts?