Heather Chase’s astronomical mistake of using the “N” word during a crew night out is having long-term repercussions on Below Deck Season 9. Downing copious amounts of alcohol couldn’t have helped the chief stew’s judgement in that moment, but any decent person functioning on the bare minimum of mental capabilities would have known better.
Deck hand Rayna Lindsey overheard the racial slur. When she confronted Heather later that night, the chief stew gave a brief apology, then retreated to her cabin to shed tears over her own embarrassment.
Heather believed the issue resolved, but her lifeless apology really didn’t cut it for Rayna. Second Stew Fraser Olender had to clue his superior in to the lingering issue. It took another charter before Heather mobilized to properly address the issue. Well, she tried to anyway.
Rayna appeared on a recent Watch What Happens Live to discuss her feelings on the incident. Host Andy Cohen started it off by asking, “Rayna, I want to get your reaction to, not only happened that night, but what has happened in the aftermath. Tell me what your reaction was where you watched the footage of the crew night out where the word was actually used.”
Rayna answered, “its just so uncomfortable and cringy to watch. Especially when, it’s like, we’re all adults and it’s 2021. It’s like, it’s something that should just be known. You know what I mean?”
Andy, and the population at large, agreed. Rayna pointed out that Heather’s apology circled around her own embarrassment and feelings. Heather mentioned in a confessional that she was concerned about how people would view her after the incident.
“Instead of being like, what Heather says is that I hurt her feelings,” Rayna explained, “But I could have taken that route in a completely different direction and I was worried about her feelings. So instead of her worrying about her feelings, I think she should be a little bit concerned about other people.”
Andy then acknowledged public support for Rayna. He said, “Viewers really applauded the way that you called Heather out in the galley. And in that moment, you were really calm, cool, and collected but it clearly really continued to bother you. What changed for you in the hours or the day after that night?”
Rayna responded, “As an African American woman, there’s always a stereotype of us being aggressive, or us being too loud, or being the ‘angry aggressive black woman’. That was running through my head almost ever second on the show. You know, I don’t want to give anyone the fuel to…”
“To play into that trope?” Andy interjected.
“You know?” Rayna agreed, “but I’m genuinely hurt, and I wanted my voice to be heard but I didn’t want to have it to be over the top.”
It’s unfortunate that Rayna did not feel comfortable to fully express her grievances. Perhaps the issue between her and Heather would still not have been resolved, but she would have felt acknowledged. Hopefully, Rayna’s time on WWHL gave her that platform.
Andy concluded the conversation by saying, “So you were not only navigating what you were feeling but also how you were coming across in your mind. You had two trains of thought.”
RELATED: Eddie Lucas Wanted Chief Stew Heather Chase Fired From Below Deck; Slams Producers For Mishandling Racism
TELL US- WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT HEATHER USING THIS WORD? WHAT DO YOU THINK OF RAYNA’S REACTION ON BELOW DECK? HOW DO YOU REACT TO WHAT SHE SAID ON WWHL?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]