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IMAGE: Phaedra Parks, Sheree Whitfield
Wilford Harewood  /  AP
Phaedra Parks, left, and Sheree Whitfield of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta," are shown here getting along, though that's not always typical "Housewives" behavior.
updated 11/2/2011 9:37:54 AM ET 2011-11-02T13:37:54

Fans of Bravo's "Real Housewives" reality franchise often tune in for the catfights and drama, but one Atlanta housewife says the genre may encourage bullying.

"Unfortunately I do think that reality TV has spawned a whole culture of bullying," said Phaedra Parks in an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday. "I believe that the behavior you see on reality TV does not exactly exemplify how adults should be conducting themselves."

Highlights of the series, which has been replicated in seven cities across the country, include volatile tempers, verbal outbursts, name calling and allegations of mean tweeting — and who can forget the infamous New Jersey table flip seen 'round the world?

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The last season of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" kicked off with a chaotic, physical altercation at a baby christening, while the new season in Beverly Hills, Calif., has focused on veteran castmates ganging up on and ostracizing new girl Brandi Glanville, going as far as hiding her crutches while she had a broken foot.

But Atlanta housewife and recording artist Kandi Burruss says bullying was around long before their hit TV franchise.

"A lot of people try to find reasons or ways to blame people or situations for their grief or sadness," Burruss said. "Personally, I think reality TV is a mimic of what's happening in real life, not the other way around. People have always had arguments, and there's always been cliques."

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Parks said she believes parents need to monitor what their children watch and insists that series like hers are not meant for young viewers. She also said she thinks reality stars should set a better example.

"We have to say that violence is unacceptable," Parks said. "We have to learn to resolve our issues by communicating effectively."

Season 4 of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" premieres on Bravo on Nov. 6 at 9 p.m. ET.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Kandi Burruss talks about season 4 of ‘Housewives’

  1. Closed captioning of: Kandi Burruss talks about season 4 of ‘Housewives’

    >> "the real housewives of atlanta." good morning.

    >> good morning, how are you?

    >> i'm great.

    >> season four we're getting a sneak peek. looks like it's not only the housewives getting down and dirty fighting all the time, now the husbands are in on it, too.

    >> oh my goodness.

    >> tell me about the drama on set.

    >> it was our first big event that we taped and it was, it went crazy. i mean it was one of those moments where you wanted to, you weren't expecting anything to happen and it just went haywire.

    >> then it does. febra opens up a funeral home .

    >> yes.

    >> you're opening up a toy shop .

    >> yes.

    >> you don't want to get those mixed up.

    >> it's a different type of toy shop . it's a fun one though.

    >> hmm.

    >> it's a kind of toy shop al likes.

    >> bedroom candy.

    >> excuse me? i go to toys "r" us, i don't know where you're going.

    >> that's what it i'm talking about. what did you think i was talking about?

    >> it's bedroom candy.

    >> okay, and suddenly a turn. you're going to have your own reality show .

    >> yes, it's "the candy factory" we're super excited about that. i'm going to get a chance to develop normal everyday people who want an opportunity to do a record and do a video and just become an artist, like kim on our show.

    >> excellent.

    >> al, just regular everyday people audition and get that chance now.

    >> we look forward to seeing more of it, candy burress thank you, season four of "the real housewives of atlanta" premiere this is sunday at 9:00, 8:00 central time on

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