Does Alpharetta city councilman's reality show behavior go too far?

6:00 AM, Mar 26, 2013   |    comments
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ALPHARETTA, Ga. -- A fun hobby or a citywide embarrassment?

That's the question facing Alpharetta city councilman Donald Mitchell after he appeared on the reality TV show "Big Rich Atlanta."

In an online clip from the show, Mitchell is seen crawling from beneath what appears to be a woman's skirt, yelling "I ain't seen that in years, baby!"

That particular clip, posted online as a Web bonus, never actually aired on television, but it was enough to get the blogosphere buzzing.

Saturday morning, "Roots in Alpharetta" blogger Lee Guy posted an article questioning Mitchell's behavior. More than two dozen comments appeared on the page, some expressing "shame" and "embarrassment" after watching the clip.

"I blogged about this because I felt that Mr. Mitchell portrayed himself in an inappropriate way, in a manner that was demeaning toward women," Guy said.

"I think the city deserves better. It really tarnished the reputation of Alpharetta to have a sitting councilman participate in a trashy reality show like this," he added.

The councilman's involvement with the show never came up during Monday night's city council meeting, and Mitchell has issued a statement saying his television role was never intended to have any ties to the City of Alpharetta.

But not all bloggers are slamming the councilman. Julie Hogg wrote a post entitled "Donald Mitchell - Rock Star" in which she defended Mitchell's actions.

"I think it's blown really way out of proportion, because the reality is that it's a semi-scripted show. It's a TV show," Hogg told 11Alive News Monday night. "It has no reflection whatsoever on Donald's ethics or morality or any of those things."

Councilman Mitchell told 11Alive's Blayne Alexander that acting is one of his hobbies, adding that he believes "normal, fun-loving people" have every right to run for public office.

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