This season on Summer House, viewers met Mya Allen for the first time. Along with the introduction, there were some sensitive and well-handled discussions between Mya and Ciara Miller about what it’s like to be the only Black cast members in a predominately white Hamptons for the summer.
Early in the season Ciara and Mya bonded and educated Summer House castmates about the emotional difficulties they face when it comes to being the only Blacks on the show. They discussed fitting in amongst the group and not feeling 100 percent accepted. This came after Mya was feeling left out and after her breaking point when Andrea Denver called her by the wrong name. He apparently misspoke and called her “Lexi” – which was an ex-girlfriend. It appeared to be an honest a mistake. Probably the result of him being distracted from the pure exhaustion of chasing Paige DeSorbo around like a puppy dog trying to get her attention.
Jumping ahead to the next day, the group had a house meeting before heading back to the city. The roommates were far from tone-deaf when Mya explained her feelings of being dismissed. It was a very open, respectful and emotional conversation handled superbly by all. Not something one would expect from the same group that sashays around half naked, fully drunk, dry humping anyone they find at a Hampton bar or their own Hampton pool. And to Andrea’s credit, he apologized profusely and seemingly felt like true garbage when he realized how much he hurt Mya.
But apparently it wasn’t a total “love is in the air” kind of moment. Secretly, Danielle was really hurt when Ciara discussed what it’s like to be the first person of color to enter this group and be a minority navigating the largely white space of the Hamptons according to an Entertainment Tonight story.
You see, Ciara joined the Summer House in Season 5. Danielle, who is Puerto Rican, joined the show in season 2 — three years before Ciara, making her the OG Summer House minority.
“I stayed quiet for a lot of reasons, because it wasn’t my moment to have, but that hurt me so much that you didn’t even consider me a person of color,” said Danielle when talking about Ciara’s comments.
“We had a beautiful moment on the beach, season 5, about relating in the workplace, about how we’re perceived, and then to have that moment where she didn’t even consider me a person of color? That was just, I’m like, I feel like crap. I feel small,” she added.
“There was a lot of emotion there, and it wasn’t my time to make it about me,” Danielle added, noting she felt it was important to make space in that conversation for Mya to be heard, as it was her experience as a new roommate that sparked the conversation in the first place.
“I did text Mya afterward along like, ‘Just so you know, I’m here for you forever, and I get it,’” Danielle said. “It was just nice because after that, I really do feel like Mya felt at home. There was a whole guard that was down afterward, and it was just beautiful to see her just let that down and be even more of herself, which is the best.”
Viewers applauded the way the Summer House crew handled the difficult discussion; it’s lauded as one of the first conversations about race in a post-Black Lives Matter movement world to be handled properly on reality TV.
“Are we the smartest show on Bravo? I don’t know, but there is a sense of just humanity, intelligence, and we get it,” Danielle reflected. “We just get it, and we don’t always have to make it about ourselves, and I think that was really important.”
“I think that every single person that was sitting in that room went through the BLM movement and actually paid attention and actually did the work on ourselves, and to make sure that everyone around us knows that this is important to us,” Danielle said. “It was the culmination of an entire year of just learning, and getting it, and then being able to listen and take it and then say, ‘OK, now this is how we prove that we can change things.’”
Wow. Very insightful and on point Danielle. Sometimes viewers forget this crew of characters consists of real humans who have real feelings. We get lost in the delicious drama watching the hookups, fights and wasted escapades throughout the summer. The self-absorbed and self-gratifying actions are entertaining but create the haze that sometimes exists between reality and TV, and reality TV.
That said, it is a shame Danielle and Ciara will never be snuggling in bed together at 3 a.m. eating snacks or having double make-out sessions like Paige and Ciara. Both Danielle and Ciara seem to have similar viewpoints and shared experiences, but no real like for one another.
There was Danielle defending Austen Kroll against the f**kboy label. There was Ciara throwing wine AND wine glass at Danielle during dinner. And now a confession from Danielle that Ciara made her feel little by not recognizing her PR cultural heritage…. and how she felt walking into a white Hampton house. Nope. The best viewers can hope for is they exist as acquaintances in a wine-free throwing zone.
TELL US – WAS IT RUDE FOR CIARA NOT TO ACKNOWLEDGE DANIELLE AS A WOMAN OF COLOR? SHOULD DANIELLE HAVE SPOKEN UP ABOUT HER FEELINGS DURING THE HOUSE DISCUSSION ON BEING A MINORITY IN THE HAMPTONS? WILL CIARA AND DANIELLE EVER BE BESTIES?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]