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The first casualty of Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry’s “reality” show (besides the D.C. Council’s collective dignity) appears to be Andre Johnson, a former communications aide for Barry who is currently, but not for long, the communications director for Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander.
Alexander called LL this morning to say that Johnson will soon be out of a job, because she says he lied to her about his involvement in the show.
“It’s over, his gig is up,” says Alexander. She also mentioned it in the comments section of the last post.
Before we go any further, you’ll have to watch this first part of the show’s pilot to get a clear picture of Alexander’s complaints.
Alexander says she asked Johnson repeatedly whether he was involved in the show, and he told her no. But, she added, Johnson would repeatedly ask her—at Barry’s request, Johnson claimed—if she would consent to being filmed for the show, which as of yet hasn’t found a network willing to air the series.
Alexander says she declined Johnson’s request to because she wants no part of the show, which she called “cheesy.” Well, maybe she’ll agree to one small role: “If he wants me to be part of the show, he can film me firing him,” she says. Ouch.
Alexander says she’s also upset Johnson appears to have been filming scenes shown in the pilot when he was no longer working as a contract employee for Barry—as the show seems to indicate—but as her full-time employee. Johnson was working in her office when he received his subpoena that’s mentioned in the pilot episode, Alexander says. She said when Johnson first approached her asking for a job, he said he was sick of all the “drama” that came with working for Barry.
“He’s surrounded himself with the drama,” she says. “I guess my office was a little too boring for him.”
Alexander also pulled no punches when he came to the appearances made in the show by her council colleagues, including incoming Chairman Kwame Brown, At-large Councilmember Michael A. Brown, and Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr.
“I can’t believe elected officials … are involved in this. I am truly shocked,” she says. Adding that she wants to give her colleagues a message: “Please stick to the council. Hollywood is not in the stars for you.”
Indeed, all the councilmembers give pretty awkward, stilted performances that makes one wonder if there was some hack producer off to the side telling them exactly what to say.
“And the acting was terrible, if I might add,” says Alexander.
She also took Barry down a few pegs for the scene where he’s out on a posh golf course joking about having to return to the city and all of its “bullets and sirens.”
“I just found it very distasteful,” she says. “I think reality TV … seems to be for people who hit rock bottom.”
LL has reached out to Johnson and will update as necessary.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery