That Video of 'In The House' Actress Maia Campbell Should have Never Gone Viral

That Video Of ‘In The House’ Actress Maia Campbell Should Have Never Gone Viral

Campbell’s mental illness is no laughing matter.

NBC via Getty Images
Campbell in promo for season one of “In the House.”

Maia Campbell needs help, not ridicule. 

On Saturday, a video began circulating of the “In the House” actress at an extremely low point. In the clip (which won’t be linked here), Campbell repeatedly tells the young man recording her that she wants crack, details a disturbing incident in which she was raped, and rants incoherently in a way that suggests she may have had a drug relapse.

She’s clearly in need of help, but the man recording (an Atlanta rapper who goes by “T-Hood”) uses the situation as an opportunity to humiliate her. The fact that he thought this was an OK thing to do, and the fact that the video has been so widely circulated since it surfaced, is an unfortunate result of a culture that still needs to fully grasp that making fun of mental illness is simply not OK. 

Campbell, once a successful teen actress in the ’90s and early 2000s, revealed her battle with drug addiction as a result of bipolar disorder on an episode of “Iyanla: Fix My Life” in 2012. Campbell, then clean but clearly struggling, spoke candidly to host Iyanla Vanzant about her mental health struggles, her broken relationship with her late mother, and her regrets about losing custody of her then-12-year-old daughter. 

Despite this well-known narrative to fans of the 40-year-old actress, T-Hood stated in an Instagram video obtained by the blog Straight From the A on Sunday that he isn’t sorry for exploiting and taunting the actress. His logic was nonexistent. 

“Y’all n****s would not be mad if I posted a white girl,” the rapper explained. 

“If I would have ran into muthaf***king Hillary Duff and she was asking for crack and [was] sucking d**k at the gas station for money for crack, I would have posted her, too,” he continued.

T-Hood added that he didn’t believe Campbell’s behavior was the result of mental illness. “This b***h is just high as f**k,” he said. 

In recent years, drug addiction has increasingly become seen as less of a criminal issue and more of a public health issue, amid an opioid epidemic that has overwhelmingly affected young white people. But while legislators are creating policies and task forces to help those with opioid addiction, crack ― which has always disproportionately affected black and Latino people ― remains stigmatized. 

As law professor Ekow Yankah explained in a video essay for PBS, 30 years ago, the drug epidemic was seen largely as a black problem, and “the response could not have been more different.”

“There was no wave of national compassion,” Yankah explained. “Instead, we were warned of super predators, young, faceless black men wearing bandannas and sagging jeans.”

And so, the fact that Campbell’s trauma has now become fodder for gossip websites is, unfortunately, not very surprising. But the carelessness with which T-Hood views Campbell’s situation is not only heartbreaking, but incredibly telling about the way in which we view both addiction and mental illness as diseases, especially when it comes to black people. 

Luckily, he’s been criticized by a number of people on social media, including Campbell’s “In the House” co-star LL Cool J.

The rapper, who posted on Instagram asking for Campbell’s contact info after seeing the disturbing video, later called out T-Hood in a tweet on Sunday night, questioning why he didn’t lend a helping hand:

On Monday night, Campbell responded to LL Cool J via an Instagram video posted by Baller Alert. She hardly seemed well. “I don’t need help, I just need a benefit concert for mental health,” she said. “Don’t DM me.” 

There are countless viral videos across sites like YouTube, The Shade Room and WorldStarHipHop of black people who are clearly mentally ill and/or drug-addicted being exploited for the sake of so-called entertainment. Indeed, the crackhead has long been a figure of humor, played for laughs in movies like “Friday” and on shows like “Chappelle’s Show.”

We’re taught to see addiction as a moral failing, a proverbial stick with which we can beat others down while elevating ourselves for not making bad choices. Perhaps it’s the existence of fictional characters like Dave Chappelle’s Tyrone Biggums or Ezal from “Friday” that make the Campbell video seem like entertainment. 

But Maia Campbell, and other people like her who cope with mental illness through drug and alcohol misuse, are not fictional characters. They are real human beings, and they deserve compassion.

Original Post

  Sad.  I saw her on Iyanla five years ago....I thought she would have gone for  treatment  cuz of her daughter....but!   No.  She is still out there.  The thing is.  A lot of black folks don't wanna talk about the fact that this new generation of blackfolks...a lot of em are smoking METH.  It's the new crack.  And it is WORSE than cocaine....cuz it damages the "common sense" gene.  Some of those who smoke i.e. young folks are seen with tattooes on their faces with crazy designs and are behaving far worse than white folks did in the smokey mountains.  And meth?  Does trigger mental illness cuz it stretches the psych.  And it's much difficult to kick than cocaine.  So.  Maia unfortunately is addicted to this drug and continuously refuse to get treatment for her mental illness.  So she is spiralling we can now see.  This young woman is the daughter of famous writer BeBe Moore Campbell who left us early at the age of 56.  Which means drug addiction and mental illness can happen to matter where one derives.  But!

That "T-Hood" little asshole has got to be young and stupid as hell, and obviously, has had little to absolutely no [real] male influence, because he did what is so predictable for this generation of so many young Black males, and that was see life through a female perspective.  

What he did was what females do to make other females look bad, and that is to viciously try to ruin the image and reputation of another female by saying, or doing or revealing something embassing about the other female, usually by gossiping.  

Real men don't hate on women that viciously; real men don't usually try to embarass a woman just to get a laugh or attention at the female's expense; real men don't tell everything they know; real men don't tell everything they know about a female; real men don't blab every little thing they know about a person; real men don't tell everything they see and know about happening in the "streets".  

"T-Hood" needs to seek out somereal men so he may be able to learn how real men act, that is, if being man is what he wants to be.



  I agree my sista.  Thing is.  Real [black] men?  Are scattered across the country...and we NEED them in clusters.  But!  That right there?  Is a model of this generation of young black men....whom you accurately define to as T-hood.  I was in convo yesterday about insanely STUPID this generation of men are.  They have no self-respect or respect for women in their culture.  These are the youngins who were influenced by rap music/videos and made it apart of their mindset and behavior toward women.  And the truth as we know it that these RAPPERS or wannabe rappers/fans are COWARDS.  They shake in their boots when the po po comes but will call a woman/female a bitch in new York minute.  And when caught and sent to PRISON....that then BEG their very women/females they degraded to put money on the books and write them letters.  WTF?  So to me in this instance black lives don't matter cuz look how our OWN people....the youth ...the children we raised.....treat the women in their community.  I ain't standing by no nothing ass motherfocker who calls me a bitch and I certainly aint gon come to his stupid ass aid if he is bamboozled by the po po.  He. Is. On. His. Own!  Let's see how focking tuff he'll be in the joint when he HAS to make a choice to be on the black side or the white side.   The girl should be shown empathy and not shown on Instagram for hits.  And that;s it!  A lot black people DO NOT have empathy/sympathy for their OWN people who are down and out.  Instead of helping them?  They humiliate them.  Thinks it's funny.  This is the new black folks yall.  Soon America will be discussing bringing back slavery but in another name.  Some of our people are so stupid....they gon fall for it as they continue to do all they can to destroy this legacy our ancestor left for us.  And we can see the destruction happening FAST from how they treat the women and children in their culture.  Pitiful.  But! 

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