But like the fictional character she plays on TV, Union, too, has a full plate. She is helping Wade raise his two sons after Wade’s ex, Siobvaughn Funches lost custody of them. Funches has been a contentious ex, alleging Wade gave her an STD, hiring multiple lawyers, accusing Union of being overly sexual in front of her children, and most recently camping out outside a Chicago courtroom in protest of what she said was an unfair gag order and Wade’s continuing financial obligations as part of their divorce. (It has since been settled and Funches has had nothing to say about the recent revelations.) Union is also now going to have to deal with Netoyer as Wade has made it clear that he will be a present father to all his children.

Union, who was the victim of rape years ago while working at a shoe store, also has her own family and career obligations. Last year, Union admitted to an Essence magazine awards luncheon audience that she was a reformed mean girl who had had to learn that she was blocking her blessings by hating on other people. Being Mary Jane may be a fictional show but Union’s real life has proven that nothing is perfect. Facebook pages, Instagram feeds and Twitter accounts only show you a side of people that they want you to know.

If Being Mary Jane becomes a hit – and it seems to be on its way given its focus on the universal problems women deal with – it’s because of its understanding that we are all dealing with something, no matter how good things might look on the outside. Whether it’s Union’s real life or reel life, they both have their ups and downs and ultimately that’s the takeaway from Being Mary Jane.

COMMENTARY: Does Art Imitate Life on ‘Being Mary Jane?’  was originally published on blackamericaweb.com

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