Peter Thomas makes no secret that he feels his charming personality is a major asset to Real Housewives of Atlanta. But he is more than just a pretty face, he reveals his savvy business persona, his long-standing hustle as an industry player, and why featuring positive black relationships on television is so vital.
In a new interview, Peter talks filming RHOA season 6 (yes, Cynthia Bailey will return) and makes some surprising announcements about his new business partner – and he also slams fellow Atlanta reality shows!
“Peter Thomas was Peter Thomas before the Real Housewives of Atlanta. Reality TV didn’t make Cynthia Bailey or Peter Thomas like some of the other people on our show. We were doing big shit before this," Peter quips to Uptown Magazine. "I am certainly not new to the entertainment industry and people in the industry knew me well before my wife became a Real Housewife.” Peter worked behind the scenes in the music and entertainment industry with several big-name players.
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First and foremost, Peter identifies himself as a business man, and then a reality TV player, but he is happy to merge the two. Despite the bad rap he has gotten as bankrupt and the rumors that BarOne is in foreclosure, Peter clarifies that none of that is true – his business is thriving, expanding, and he is not sponging off his more famous wife.
With BarOne's leaseholder (the owner of the building), Peter is in terse negotiations to purchase the actual property, but it's not working on. He's reportedly even building a spinoff about his experiences as an entrepreneur. On the day of this interview, Bravo cameras were on-hand to film the negotiations, but the building owners never showed.
“When Cynthia and I joined the show, viewers all watched me lose Uptown. People acted like I lost it because I am somehow a bad businessman. Uptown (Lounge) closed due to the recession. I wasn’t immune from that shit. No one was,” Peter says in his own defense. But now things are very different.
Peter feels his business fallout helped to build him as an interesting character on RHOA - and now he readily admits that the husbands are essential to growing the RHOA brand. “This last season of the show, the husbands were very vocal and very visible, and there is no doubt we helped to contribute to the enormous success of this season ok?” Peter insists. “We were as important to the show as our wives this season.”
Peter also takes credit for conceptualizing the idea for the popular WWHL episode featuring only the Atlanta husbands ("We have a lot to say and we contribute greatly to the show. Andy said he thought it was a good idea and four weeks later he booked us.”) and the Husband's Revealed special, the first of its kind in the Housewives franchise.
As for accusations from NeNe Leakes that he was an overly-involved bitch, Peter is dismissive. “What sense does it make for me to be on the show and simply be quiet? It makes no sense for any of the men to just sit back and not open our mouths. If the women on the show don’t want me to say shit, they shouldn’t have the conversations in my presence.”
“Yes, this show is called the Real Housewives of Atlanta," Peter concedes. "But they can’t be wives and their reality wouldn’t be real without their husbands.”
Peter is enthusiastic about how he feels RHOA has changed American's perceptions of African American males and marriages. He points out the rarity of a primetime show that features happily married, successful black couples dealing with real issues and criticizes shows like Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta that prioritize stereotypical images of those relationships. Hmmm…
“If people want to call me a bitch for creating this opportunity and giving America the chance to see four black men talking about our marriages, how to make them work and supporting each other through our own shit, then they really don’t get the big picture,” Peter explains. Peter is adamant that it is important for him to make this platform count – and it is not a vanity project to stroke his own ego.
“Being black men on reality TV isn’t an easy task to manage. But I feel like our responsibility as black men on this show is to project a more positive image for young black men. We aren’t perfect, but for the most part we certainly are not being as foolish as some of the other black men on reality TV," Peter states. Wait – is he counting Apollo Nida in this group? Because, at the end of the day… yeah, no.
Peter continues, “We are not Love and Hip Hop, ok? We are not on that bullshit. Good for them. I’m really cool with some of those guys. But I take my responsibility much more seriously and it’s not to project that foolishness that they have going on.” And Peter feels his positions have really resonated with viewers.
“The Real Housewives of Atlanta is the number one show on Bravo, not just in the Housewives franchise," Peter says. "I need people to understand what that means. No other show on the network does our numbers. Not one. This ensemble cast of black people is number one on a very popular network, but not one of our wives’ faces are on a billboard advertising the show.”
Peter is now eagerly looking behind Bravo to continue to grow his brand and vision. He reveals that he is partnering with Kordell Stewart to open a new upscale sports bar (SportsOne) in North Carolina, which Peter previously revealed will be filmed for a reality show. No word on whether or not Bravo is behind this so-called spinoff.
Peter says that it is his goal, and Cynthia's, to build businesses and brands that exist once their reality TV careers expire. "Ninety-nine percent of the people who have been on a reality show have absolutely nothing once the show is over or their no longer on it,” Peter claims. “Peter Thomas and Cynthia Bailey are doing exactly what we were doing before this reality show and will be doing the same thing after, only bigger because we have bigger numbers and bigger ambitions.”
Basically – Peter Thomas isn't going anywhere, and he isn't phased that you think he's a bitch. You can read more about Peter's pre-Bravo days at Uptown Magazine.
[Photo Credit: BravoTV.com]
TELL US – ARE THE HUSBANDS VITAL TO RHOA'S SUCCESS? DOES RHOA PORTRAY A POSITIVE IMAGE OF BLACK FAMILIES?