Eboni K. Willams viewed her role as the first Black woman in the Real Housewives of New York very seriously. She took every opportunity to discuss, educate, and confront the other Real Housewives on issues that concerned her. Luann de Lesseps and Ramona Singer found it tedious, and some viewers did as well. But Eboni was hired to share her life on reality TV, and like it or not, it was her story to tell.
She may currently in between RHONY seasons, but that hasn’t paused Eboni’s quest for recognition and education. In terms of reality TV shows, specifically the Real Housewives franchise, Eboni feels that the medium both under-represents and doesn’t give credit to Women of Color. She also suggested that reality TV wouldn’t have had the success it has had without the Black community.
During a guest appearance hosting The View, a show that she expressed interest in joining, Eboni spoke further on the matter and explained her position. Whoopi Goldberg asked why she wanted to join reality TV. According to The Jasmine Brand, Eboni responded, “the reason, though, is because I think that reality TV owes everything to Black women. I think it’s built on the backs of Black women. And I think that Black women actually have so much to gain from the medium, if used properly.”
Eboni explained that she wanted to use the success and platform of RHONY to further her own message. She continued, “for better or worse, there is nothing like the impact of reality Television. I think we all thought it was gonna be a ‘hit and quit it’ thing, like, maybe 15 years ago. We’re on 13 season of ‘New York,’ 15 seasons, 16 seasons of ‘Orange County.’ It’s not going anywhere. So if you can’t beat ’em, maybe it’s time to join ’em.”
Indeed, Real Housewives of Atlanta and Real Housewives of Potomac have thrived with an all Black cast. Cast members like Nene Leakes and Karen Huger have enjoyed immense success within, and beyond the scope of their respective shows and are multi-dimensional representations of successful Black women.
Eboni opined, “I do think that it has been an opportunity to show a different kind of Black womanhood. I think Black women are some of the most misunderstood demographics in our nation. And to be able to represent the kinds of Black women that I know, the kinds of Black women I am in a sorority with, the kinds of Black women I went to school with, it’s been an honor.”
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[Photo Credit: Bravo]