Lifetime’s ‘UnReal’ Pits Confederate Flag Bikini Against #BLM T-Shirt

June 14th, 2016 5:52 PM

In “Insurgent,” last night's episode of Lifetime’s UnReal, racial tensions once again rear their ugly head - in a completely cynical, manufactured way, of course. 

Southerner Beth Ann (Lindsay Musil) wears a Confederate flag bikini against her better judgment in a scene with the first black suitor, Darius (B.J. Britt). Contrary to the racist narrative attached to her by the show’s producers, Beth Ann knows the uproar the garment will cause with other contestants and the bachelor. Naturally, the show ratings need that bikini and Beth Ann is told in no uncertain terms that she must wear it or she’s not a proud Southerner. Or something.

Blacktivist Ruby (Denee Benton) sees Beth Ann’s bikini and the hoped for reaction plays out between the two while Rachel (Shiri Appleby) tries desperately to catch it all on film.

Beth Ann: Why? What'd I do?

Rachel: No. It's what you didn't do.

Beth Ann: What is this? They told us to change into bikinis.

Rachel:  Yes, but, no, no, no. Not this one. Where's your other one?

Beth Ann: The one from Instagram? The one with the flag on it?

Rachel: No. The one that you look amazing in. Come on. That bikini made us come looking for you.

Beth Ann:  I don't know. That's kind of a hometown thing, you know? Th-there are a lot of, uh... Other kinds of people here.

Rachel: Are you embarrassed of who you are?

Beth Ann: Oh, I'm -- I'm not embarrassed.

Rachel: No. You're not really a proud Southerner. Oh, my God. All that stuff you told me during intake-- Was that all just a lie?

Beth Ann: Oh, I-I'm not a liar.

Rachel: I just thought, "Look at this girl. This girl, she has got balls."

Beth Ann: I do have balls.

Rachel: Only when you're on the other side of a computer screen, you've got balls. This bikini does not scream "Balls."

Beth Ann: All right. You want me to put it on?

Rachel: Yes!

Beth Ann: I'll wear it.

Rachel: You're crazy.

Ruby: What the hell is that?!

Beth Ann: See? Come on. This is what I was afraid of. There is a lot of misinformation out there.

Rachel: We need cameras over here now.

Beth Ann:  A lot of people have a real misunderstanding about what this flag is all about.

Ruby:  Oh, you're right. It's me.[ Southern accent ] I must just be plain ignorant.

Beth Ann: It's not an advertisement for racism. It doesn't say, "Yay! Slavery!" Come on.

Ruby: Oh, here we go.

Rachel: Need people here now.

Beth Ann: You know what? My daddy had family who fought and died in the Civil War. And, for the record, it had nothing to do with slavery.

Ruby:  That is a revisionist crock of -- Read a book. Come on.

Rachel: Where is everyone?

Beth Ann: You know what? You might be ashamed of your heritage, but I have a feeling that the suitor is going to appreciate my honesty.

Ruby: You dumb bitch. He's black.

Rachel: Where's Jay?

Beth Ann: Excuse me.

Beth Ann is forced to go out and meet Darius wearing her Confederate flag bikini, enraging the other girls. But the fact that he gives her a chance to apologize and offers her the shirt off his back to cover up enrages Ruby and she labels him as a “sell-out pussy.”

Ruby: I'm sorry, but I cannot physically stop myself from saying something.

Jay:  Will you compose yourself? Just take a breath.

Ruby:  No. Absolutely not. I stood there like a good, quiet, little Negro for you, but that shirt business was too much.

Jay:  He was just being a gentleman.

Ruby:  He was being a pussy. Look, your long game might make sense, but why the hell would I want to stick around to fake fall in love with that sellout? 

Jay: Look, I get it, okay? Believe me. But the only reason Darius is on the show is to repair his image, and that shirt move is exactly the kind of nonsense that's gonna do it. I'm serious. Marketing will be focus-grouping the hashtag before the end of the night.

Ruby:  #Iamapussy.

Jay:  Listen to me. Listen to me. Who knows how long Beth Ann will actually stick around for, okay? She's not gonna win. Even Obama had to make compromises.

Ruby:  Not with the Confederate flag. Ever. Look, if Darius wants to cut me for having a point of view that he should have himself, so be it. At least I’ll go home with my dignity.

Ruby busts out her “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirt in retaliation. She is determined not to be “the black bitch” who is gone after two weeks on the show. What does a blacktivist do to get the guy’s attention over the other contestants? She brings in the phony Black Lives Matter narrative, playing right along with the racial divide pushed by the show for ratings.

Ruby makes the cut during the first elimination ceremony with Darius. As she acts a bit surprised at his decision, Darius tells her his teammates wouldn’t approve if he eliminated her, especially wearing that t-shirt. Beth Ann makes the cut, too. Let the show ratings rise, race wars be damned!