Real Housewives of Atlanta and Real Housewives of Potomac prominently feature Black women’s stories. Still, it’s hard to ignore the fact that Bravo has kept Housewives series divided by race. This whole separate but equal idea was supposed to die after 1954, but it’s lived on in Bravo-land for over a decade.
On Real Housewives of Orange County diversity means casting brunettes. Real Housewives of New Jersey rarely casts non-Italians. Don’t get me started on how Real Housewives of Dallasjustthrew Tiffany Moon, their first Asian cast member, into a sea of ignorant white women because this racist video of Brandi Redmond surfaced last year. Real Housewives of New York takes place in the most diverse city in the United States, but it took 13 seasons to get Eboni K. Williams on screen. Then, after 10 seasons of mainly white women, Garcelle Beauvais was cast on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Rightfully, Garcelle wants to know why it took so long.
As covered by Yahoo Entertainment, Andy Cohen recently spoke on Garcelle’s podcast, Going to Bed with Garcelle, about why there haven’t been any women of color on RHOBH until recently. In the episode, which has yet to be released, Andy said they wanted “to get it absolutely perfect.” Sure sure.
Andy clarified, saying, “I think that it was a bad cycle because then the longer you waited, the more you wanted to get it absolutely perfect when you did cast a woman of color and bring them into the group. You wanted that person to succeed.”
Sounds like a cop out. Andy continued, “over the years, there have been people that we did not cast that were people of color.” Okay – why? It’s not explicitly stated in the interview, so we may have to listen to the podcast to find out. But he did double down, saying, “we really wanted to get it right, so that we weren’t casting someone that would be a one-season housewife or like, ‘Oh, well, she’s boring’ or she didn’t fit. I just think it was this vicious cycle of wanting to get it absolutely right.”
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One, producers don’t need to be scared of whether or not anyone “would be a one-season housewife” because they are in charge of casting AND editing. They could ensure these women get positive edits and keep them around for longer than one season. Two, saying there were people of color they just didn’t cast demonstrates that diversifying simply wasn’t on their radar at all.
“The true answer is,” Andy finally admits, “there is no excuse. It’s bad and there is no excuse.” That is a statement I can get behind. It’s probably what he should have led with here.
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TELL US- WHAT DO YOU THINK OF ANDY’S COMMENT? DO YOU THINK THEY WOULD HAVE DIVERSIFIED THE FRANCHISE IF THEY WEREN’T CALLED TO ACTION BY THE EVENTS OF THIS LAST YEAR? WHO’S THE NEXT WOMAN OF COLOR YOU WANT TO SEE ON HOUSEWIVES?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]