Donald Mitchell, on a trashy reality show?

Alpharetta Councilman Donald Mitchell is a reality television star.

Mitchell has appeared on multiple episodes of Big Rich Atlanta, a reality TV show on the Style Network. The show follows a group of wealthy women and their daughters who do whatever it takes to be at the top of the local social scene. If you’re thinking Real Housewives or Jersey Shore then you’re probably not too far off-base.

I’ve not watched the show but episode guides are online in addition to a few clips. It seems that Mitchell made his way onto the show as the interior decorator and friend of one of the stars. He bristles and overreacts when another designer threatens to steal one of his clients. And in typical reality show fashion, the drama boils over.

One episode guide talks of a drunk Donald using derogatory language towards women in the show. His antics earn him a drink to the face.

In the clip above we again see an inebriated Donald Mitchell at costume party dressed as a cowboy. He manages to crawl under a woman’s dress. Those on the show call it awkward and inappropriate.

Another scene was filmed at Sis and Moon’s in downtown Alpharetta. In it Mitchell’s friend scolds him for calling another woman a name for the female anatomy.

As is typical for a show like this, fans on social media sites either love or hate Mitchell. Some call for him to have a bigger presence in the show.

So it comes as a bit of a shock that Donald Mitchell would place himself in the middle of a nationally-broadcast and trashy reality TV show, with all the drama, drinking and embarrassing situations that go with it. How will his new-found stardom play in Alpharetta?

It’s likely to be a boon for his interior decorating business. Talk about exposure!

How will constituents view his antics? A sitting member of Alpharetta’s City Council is drunk on television with his head up a woman’s dress. Is this unbecoming of an elected official or good-natured fun?

And how will Alpharetta’s business community view this? They are very careful to protect the city’s image and reputation, particularly when it comes to business recruitment. This kind of exposure can’t be good for that.

Let me know what you think. In the meantime, I’m setting my DVR to record Style Network on Sunday at 9:00.

46 Responses to “Donald Mitchell, on a trashy reality show?”

  1. Jim Nabors March 23, 2013 at 8:21 am #

    Isn’t he the Council Liason to Human Resources? Wow.

  2. Darrell March 23, 2013 at 9:50 am #

    This is shameful. What is going on with our elected officials? I probably won’t vote for him the next time around. Acting like a moron can’t be good for any business. Take notice alpharetta. We can fix this problem in november

  3. Bill Teller March 23, 2013 at 11:22 am #

    This is SO embarrassing. Things were already bad enough with the DUI arrest of Michael Cross. Now this. What is going on at Alpharetta city hall?

  4. Julie Hogg March 23, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

    “I’ll be setting my DVR to record Style Network on Sunday at 9:00″ – and that’s precisely the point. That’s what reality TV shows are all about.

  5. Disappointed Citizen March 23, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

    Now that the City Council has exposed its underbelly twice in less than a month, the pertinent question is whether the zero tolerance rule for ethics applies to Council members. Would any fireman, policeman, or other city employee be able to do this without getting fired? Just asking.

  6. JS March 23, 2013 at 6:36 pm #

    What’s the trouble? This is great publicity for the City of Alpharetta! Aren’t we trying to draw a younger, hipper crowd way up here in the sticks so we can collect more tax money off the uptick in alcohol sales? They should build a huge city branding campaign around it. We’ve gone from Awesome Alpharetta to Technology City of the South, we can just tweak it to Party City of the South. Heck, just about every other event at the ampitheater is a concert version of this show so what is the big deal?

  7. Amy Rogers March 23, 2013 at 10:11 pm #

    I just watched the Saturday night episode. DM is outrageous. He is so profane that he is blamed for ruining a trashy party. He purposely did this for broadcast. This is an unbelievable lack of judgement. How can we trust him to make good decisions?

  8. Mike March 24, 2013 at 2:45 am #


    I thought this really was some sort of early April fools joke, but sadly its not.

    Two Words: Bad Judgement.

    If this was discovered years before him running for office, its one thing. Seriously? You are elected to a city council seat to represent 60,000 people and you knowingly do this when your in office? If I had young kids, I would ask them to leave the room if this was on. Calling a women a “New Orleans Whore” is simply low class. Unfortunately, he says a lot more nasty things than just that.

    Alpharetta now has two city council members surrounded by controversy. With all the good things happening in Alpharetta it’s sad to see this happening. We have had the debate about Mr. Cross and I think its fair to wait and see what happens as the process unfolds. However, this Mitchell thing is very disappointing.

    I know the city election is still several months off, but handicapping the races, I would now expect Mitchell to have opposition.

  9. Julie Hogg March 24, 2013 at 8:38 am #

    You all may not realize it but you’ve been hooked into the titillating, scandalous drama that is reality TV shows. Your reactions are precisely what the directors and producers are hoping to get – because whether you watch the show or not (and many of you will) your reaction – the outrage, the scandal!!! – is precisely what drives other viewers who just want some entertainment – to watch it. My personal favorite reality TV show is Real Housewives of Atlanta. Talk about drama! But then again – not totally real. Donald is fine. He got a side job doing a little acting. So what. Be intelligent. Look at where Donald stands on issues, who he says he is as a Councilman, how he votes. Donald is not your pope, priest or savior. He is your local city -councilman.

  10. Disappointed Citizen March 24, 2013 at 9:54 am #

    “Donald is fine. He got a side job doing a little acting. So what. Be intelligent. Look at where Donald stands on issues, who he says he is as a Councilman, how he votes. Donald is not your pope, priest or savior. He is your local city -councilman.”

    The Bill Clinton turning point.

    Personally I believe man is a whole person, not carved into pieces that are divorced from other parts of his being. The individual pieces make up the composite of who you are. I can’t see the pope doing this bit of acting as well he should not. Hopefully most Alpharettans expect better of their elected officials.

    I wonder how many businesses will display Mr. Mitchell’s signs?

  11. Milton_Citizen March 24, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    Wow! They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity, but that’s not true. This is it. I’m not an Alpharetta citizen but live in a neighboring city and enjoy many of the things Alpharetta has to offer. To be honest, if I had to choose between re-electing Cross or this guy, I’d choose Cross. I don’t know Cross but while he had a single lapse in judgment (albeit a serious one,) Mitchell has proven he has a complete character deficit. By choosing to be a part of a show like this and then acting obnoxiously on it. When is the fascination with bad behavior going to end? I used to watch the Housewives series as well.. let’s admit… it’s entertaining and sometimes nice to feel “normal” compared to some of the RH personalities they portray. Until I realized that shows like these are contributing to an overall soured culture. The only way the bad behaivor ends is if we we stop giving it attention. While it might be fun to watch, we’re sending a message that this behavior is tolerated and even encouraged. I definitely won’t be tuning in… I’ve heard enough. He should be glad I’m not an Alpharetta voter.

  12. JS March 24, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    Is he only acting on the show? Or is that the real Donald? How do we know when he is acting and when he isn’t? If I am a constituent or business person asking him a question relevant to City business I am not going to believe what he says, he has lost my trust. But not just due to his reality show job, also due to the recent trend in this City (that include his votes) to rezone every square inch of this City to higher density, without regard to the Comprehensive Land Use Plan. In order to have a vibrant downtown you must have people eating and shopping there and of course the only way to do that is to rezone everything at higher densities without regard for the people who already live and pay taxes here. I am thankful I have teens in my house eligible to vote in the next election!

  13. Greg March 24, 2013 at 3:15 pm #


    I don’t think anyone here is making an issue of the show itself. It’s just not the image of Alpharetta they want their elected officials portrayinjg on national television.

  14. Julie Hogg March 24, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

    Hey – thanks Greg. But Donald’s role on this show is that of a designer – not a local city council person. He’s also on a television show – as in Must-Sell-Advertising television show. This whole drama playing out here on this blog and on other blogs or media outlets is really driving viewers to watch this show and therefore sell advertising – therefore – mission accomplished. And selling advertising is not a bad mission either! It’s a show. S – H – O – W
    Not real life.

  15. Disappointed Citizen March 24, 2013 at 6:48 pm #

    What if he was acting in a porn flick? Would that be OK too? Where is the line drawn?

  16. Bill Teller March 24, 2013 at 8:12 pm #

    Julie – with all respect, I haven’t been hooked into anything. In fact, I am clearly aware of what reality television is. The fact that Donald Mitchell has elected to take part in it shows terrible judgment on his part. I believe I speak for the overwhelming majority of citizens when I say that we don’t want our city council members playing the part of a tipsy drama queen stereotype on “reality” television. That is beneath the dignity of our city officials and I am offended that this has even happened in the first place. We already have a council member who has been arrested for DUI with his child in the car. We don’t need this silliness on top of that. I am all for people being allowed to do whatever they want to do but our city officials should be held to a higher standard. I believe our Mayor needs to take a stand on the subject of city council behavior. We are quickly becoming a joke among the other cities in north Fulton.

  17. A March 24, 2013 at 9:13 pm #

    @Julie Hogg, why are you defending this joke of a councilman? Hopefully both he and Cross get voted out next election.

  18. Julie Hogg March 24, 2013 at 9:39 pm #

    Television S – H – O – W . Not real life.
    Frankly, I think it’s weird that everyone is taking aim at Donald on this. But, that’s all I have to say on this blog. This is tiresome.

  19. Greg March 24, 2013 at 10:01 pm #

    Julie, we know what a S-H-O-W is. The problem we have is that this man is a C-I-T-Y-C-O-U-N-C-I-L-M-A-N in “real life.” I suspect that won’t be true after the next election, though. That’s our perogative as voters, and I can’t imagine Mitchell didn’t realize that when he took this gig. Obviously he prefers a S-H-O-W over his real life.

  20. Mike March 25, 2013 at 1:29 am #

    Julie, I like how you repeatably bash the other councilmen routinely, specifically Owens and Kennedy over differences of opinion regarding zoning ordinances, but you give a pass to this egregious situation with Mitchell.

    This is poor, irresponsible behavior and judgement on the part of Mr. Mitchell. I don’t think this warrants a resignation or anything like that, but it will be interesting to see what happens as we approach the election season.

  21. misogynist behavior March 25, 2013 at 9:40 am #

    Misogyny can be manifested in numerous ways, including sexual discrimination, denigration of women, violence against women, and sexual objectification of women.

    It is 2013 and Alpharetta leaders think portrayal of misogyny by one of its representatives is good for business?

  22. phatnate March 25, 2013 at 10:56 am #

    I am not in favor of the image he has created for an Alpharetta City Councilman. He is a publicly figure that represents the interests of the citizens of Alpharetta in many important decisions worth more than a billion dollars (Avalon & City Center, plus others.) He should not be representing the City of Alpharetta in important business matters. There are always hints of the real person in any character role they play on TV, even the exaggerated roles on reality TV. Would you want NeNe or Omorosa on Alpharetta City Council?

  23. misogynist behavior March 25, 2013 at 3:44 pm #

    Do General Motor’s female executives approve of this type of denigration of women? Did they know they were opening up shop in a town that tolerates such treatment of women, in jest or not? Do they think this is funny? Do they think this portrayal of women should be perpetuated?

  24. misogynist behavior March 25, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    AT&T execs? Verizon? ADP? McKesson? LexisNexis RIAG? HP execs? Do you support this art form?

  25. Todd March 25, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

    Seriously disgusted that this is one of the people who we met with to discuss the big rezoning on Mayfield Rd. Also met with Mr. Cross who said we had to wrap our meeting up because he had a 2 O’clock coming in. We stood outside talking for awhile and noticed that nobody entered his building. So far, we have a councilman who was charged with DUI and Child Endangerment (no seat belt) and a drunk, sexist, profane and vulgar councilman who are in charge of determining my standard of living, home value, and the face of our city. Both men need to resign immediately.

  26. Gary March 25, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

    How many times have we seen a teacher post photos on Facebook and shortly thereafter resigning? Poor judgement prevents them from teaching our children. How is this any different? Truly sad. This reminds me of all the actors making that youtube video speaking out against gun violence after Sandy Hook, yet almost everyone of them made money on movies that portrayed gun violence. It’s not called acting… but called hypocrite.

  27. J March 25, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

    They just had this story on Channel 2 6 pm news with this blog mentioned.

  28. Gail Fields March 25, 2013 at 7:13 pm #

    First, anyone that truly knows Donald knows that he is acting. He would never carry himself in this matter in front of anyone, I really can’t believe that people would compare what
    Donald is doing on the show to someone that was DUI and could have killed someone. The program comes on after all kids should be in bed and everyone has the right to simpily change the channel.No one hurt. The show would be truly boring without Donald being on the program.I do think that if it wasn’t for a few of the stale citizens in Alpharetta no one would have even known that he was a councilman.Maybe you really do need some more young people in your town that understands that having a little fun and letting your hair down once in a while, is ok. ļ¼©also believe that if any of you were offered a chance to get on TV you would jump at the chance. As long as Donald is representing the people of the town properly and the town is prospering then, What is your beef? You go Donald, have fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. Mark March 25, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

    It’s clear that Mr. Mitchell is lacking ethical fortitude. As Potter Stewart put it,”Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do.”

  30. JS March 25, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

    Donald’s says in his statement to WSB that he was asked to play a “defined role”. I would personally like to see the description of that “defined role” in writing. What might it say?

  31. JS March 25, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

    Check out his Twitter @182don, he was tweeting about the show immediately before, during and after last week’s (March 18) City Council meeting! City Council Meeting was at 7:30PM, there is a tweet timed at 7:48PM. Even if it was during a break, is it really appropriate to be tweeting during a City Council Meeting?

  32. JS March 25, 2013 at 9:49 pm #

    There is also a tweet dated January 29, where he states “Alpharetta will be the home to the only Top Golf facility in the Southeast.” This was a week BEFORE the February 4th City Council meeting when it was approved by City Council vote. So Donald’s twitter followers got to hear the news before the vote and before the actual people who live and pay taxes here did!

  33. Disappointed Citizen March 25, 2013 at 10:37 pm #

    I had always suspected the City Council meetings were kabuki theater, but JS has confirmed it!

  34. B March 25, 2013 at 11:19 pm #

    Not being a watcher of trash tv I hadn’t seen him. Won’t watch an episode to see what it’s about either.

    Sorry – but if you are not “playing” a role of another person, you are portraying yourself. Shame on you for calling women whores. Don’t act a fool with the cameras rolling.

  35. JS March 25, 2013 at 11:51 pm #

    Go to the city website and view the video of the March 18th City Council Meeting. There are several tweets on his twitter account that occurred during the meeting. By the way, according tweets made, his appearance did result in a threat and he states that the police are involved. I wonder if we taxpayers can get reimbursed by the show for the cost of his protection.

  36. A March 26, 2013 at 7:36 am #

    If this idiot was not a sitting councilman and a high-profile individual, he can embarrass himself all he wants. The fact is he was elected by the citizens of Alpharetta to represent them, which should include conducting himself with at least a tiny bit of decorum. Also, city council meetings are a joke and sham. Having been to one in Milton recently I can say with confidence that the council members have their minds made up on decisions before hearing any arguments. Wish we could toss out the entire councils of Alpharetta and Milton and start over with people who actually care about their cities and reputations.

  37. Mike March 26, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

    One reason why councils have “made their minds up” before a vote at a meeting is because of research. They spend countless hours sitting down with the city department that something on the agenda applies to, they meet with citizens who have questions and concerns about the agenda item, and review the entire application which can be quite lengthy.

  38. JS March 26, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

    You heard it Alpharetta residents. Don’t wait for a meeting or public hearing to voice your concerns, it will be too late. Contact your City Council members directly. I sincerely appreciate all of the work our Council members undertake. I do not agree that applications should be publicized as a “done deal” before a vote even takes place. Certainly not on Twitter.

  39. A March 26, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

    I contacted all Milton council members several times before a recent decision and spoke at a council meeting, but it seemed to make no difference. They didn’t even look like they were listening or cared.

  40. Disappointed Citizen March 26, 2013 at 7:54 pm #

    @A and JS – The game’s the same all over. Maybe try bringing campaign cash?

  41. Disappointed Citizen March 26, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

    Sis & Moons doesn’t have a liquor license so why was liquor being consumed there. Does Alpharetta allow that?

  42. City of Alpharetta Handbook March 27, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    p3, Act in the Public Interest: Recognizing that stewardship of the public interest must be their primary concern, employees will work for the common good of the people of the City and not for any private or personal interest…

    p3, Conduct of Employees: The professional and personal conduct of employees must be above reproach and avoid even the appearance of impropriety.

    p5, Any form of harassment relating to an individual’s …sex.. is a violation of this policy and will be treated as a disciplinary matter. Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action, up to and including immediate termination.

    p5, At a minimum, the term “harassment” as used in this policy includes: Offensive remarks, comments, jokes, slurs, or verbal conduct pertaining to an individual’s …sex… or any other category protected by federal, state, or local law.

    p6, Offensive physical conduct, including touching and gestures…

    p7, We are serious about enforcing our policy against harassment. Persons who violate this or any other City policy are subject to discipline, up to and including immediate termination…

    p24, No one should use profanity…or engage in any activity which could harm our City’s reputation.

    p24, The City does not allow….loud or abusive language, or any other actions that could injure a citizen, fellow employee, or member of the public, regardless of where such words or actions occur.

    p27, Employees should not engage in any unlawful or *unethical* activity, incluing, but not limited to activity either on City property, a job site, *or off the job, since such activity can adversely affect the City’s reputation.*

    p28, Obviously, this list is not all inclusive and there may be other circumstances for which employees may be disciplined or terminated.

    p28 concerning Outside Employment, The City considers other employment or “moonlighting” impractical….any outside employement may not create a conflict of interest with your work at our City.

    p41, Department Directors are responsible for insuring that employees project a professional image.

  43. Saga June 14, 2013 at 11:28 am #

    This guy’s an idiot, and nothing says good television like an idiot parading around. City government, however, needs far fewer idiots.

  44. Saga June 14, 2013 at 11:28 am #

    I’m late to this posting, and I can’t believe my eyes. This guy is an idiot, and nothing says good television like an idiot parading around. City government, however, needs far fewer idiots.

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