What happened to Dutchess Lattimore? 'Black Ink Crew' star won't return after battling racism and depression
'Reality TV is meant to diminish mental health not only for the people on the show but for the people that watch the show,' Dutchess said
Over the years, 'Black Ink Crew' has seen multiple departures, and most were controversial. While some found it in themselves to return, given reality TV another shot, Dutchess Lattimore is in no mood to do so.
In a no-holds-barred interview late last year, Dutchess revealed the reasons why she didn't want to give the VH1 show or any other non-scripted series another chance. "Reality TV is meant to diminish mental health not only for the people on the show but for the people that watch the show," she said on 'Talk of the Town Unfiltered'.
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In the podcast, she shared what got to her and finally led to her exit. The reasons are valid and relevant in today's times. "You really have to have a certain level of disdain not only for yourself but for Black people in general, to want to watch something that you keep seeing Black people, and they never come to a place of success. Every f–king episode is fight or f–k," she said.
Even though she stuck around for a good five seasons, Dutchess noticed a change of direction right after the maiden season ended. The reality TV star didn't appreciate that the show became less about tattooing as a form of art and more focused on the lives of those who are skillful at it. Even though she had issues with Big Fish Entertainment, she agreed to continue her role in the show only due to contractual obligations.
"I’ll tell you what drove me crazy more than that. What drove me crazy more than that was the group of white producers that was literally instigating ignorance and negativity trying to make you feel like you really are f–kin’ crazy," she said, adding that they were a "group of racist white individuals" who established a relationship with production houses to "further the propaganda of racism."
She left the show in 2017 but what followed was nothing but a nightmare for her. Dutchess began to have suicidal thoughts and getting death threats. In an interview with Sister Circle Live, she expressed: "I went through a serious depression. I went through getting harassment from cast members, death threats. They would call my shop and tell my mother the most heinous things that they were going to do to me if I came back to New York." Dutchess now runs her tattoo parlor - Pretty-N-Ink - in North Carolina.
In related news, catch full episodes of 'Black Ink Crew: New York' on VH1 every Monday at 8/7c. For more information, check your local listings.