Maybe it's true, maybe not, but it certainly seems like the amount of tragedy tied to reality television productions gets disproportionately larger each year. The ex-fiance of Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kandi Burruss, A.J. Jewell, was killed last night.
Ashley (A.J.) Jewell was at the strip club he was the co-owner of in Atlanta—the Body Tap Club—when he got into a fight outside in the parking lot with Body Tap employee Fredrick Richardson. Jewell was a fixture on the show for a few episodes. The Body Tap Club was already popular with celebrities and became even more so after Jewell's appearance on the show. The fight was just the two of them and nobody else. Jewell suffered massive head injuries from the fight and died at Piedmont Hospital later that night.
Voluntary manslaughter charges have been brought up against Richardson, and he'll be charged once he's released from his stay at a separate hospital, where he was brought in from injuries resulting from the fight.
Every newspaper report has included this, so, here:
It's a senseless act of random, arbitrary violence. These tragedies happen, one's no better or worse than any other. But you have to wonder: in the wake of Ryan Alexander Jenkins' murder-suicide, even back to Richard Hatch's tax evasion charges, and all of the other crimes that've fallen between, is it wrong to ask if we're able to implicate reality TV as being some kind of accessory to these crimes? Even to the slightest degree?
Reality TV manifests ego and hubris; a sense of power, however limited, can be a bad thing in pretty much any scenario. Then again, more likely than not, it's just what it is: a senseless celebrity death. Questions, though. They happen.