Why NeNe Leakes Never Should Have Left Bravo

NeNe Leakes
(Photo by: Annette Brown/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

The OG of the Real Housewives of Atlanta forgot her roots when she decided to leave the franchise in 2020 for greener pastures. NeNe Leakes, who had made a name for herself on the ATL franchise, blamed failed contract negotiations for her departure. It was a shock to the system for Bravo viewers since NeNe was the lead star and number one pot stirrer. However, the former RHOA star may have made a mistake by leaving.

Fall From Grace

NeNe Leakes/Instagram

It was no secret that NeNe was the breakout star of RHOA. Many fans, including myself, believe she, along with a few other special housewives, helped put the franchises on the map. The mother of two’s personality, reads, and reactions were priceless and became legendary. Hell, she is also the GIF queen. But as the series progressed, Hollywood started to call her name with roles on Glee and The New Normal. 

I think her over-inflated sense of ego helped coax her out of Bravo’s safety net. But once she did that, it was over. She began to talk badly about her co-stars and the network, causing her to burn multiple bridges. The sass and attitude that initially made her a breakout cast member and drew Hollywood’s interest also eventually led to her problems as well. 

NeNe’s Financial Woes

NeNe Leakes/Instagram

NeNe is facing new financial problems, which may have been able to be avoided if she just kept a hold of her peach. It turns out NeNe just is not that “very rich bitch” anymore, as it was revealed by the Georgia Department of Revenue that she received a state tax execution showing that she owed $17,785.22. 

The trouble went deeper as NeNe’s previous landlord for her Swagg Boutique also sued her. The lawsuit alleged that NeNe extended her rent in 2021 but closed down in 2022, still owing $22,000 in rent. The judge ordered her to pay $25,000. Ouch. 

NeNe Is No Longer in Demand

NeNe Leakes/Instagram

Even though she once had the Bravosphere at her feet, NeNe is no longer in high demand. I imagine if she had stayed as a main housewife, she would be getting the red carpet treatment. She has been gifted some hosting gigs like Baddies East reunion. She also has a spot on an upcoming Lifetime movie with Denise Richards. But overall, I believe her reach as an actor has been capped because she left the Real Housewives of Atlanta in such an unfashionable moment. 

It seems telling that Ryan Murphy, the producer of Glee, never put her in any other project of his. He is known for loving to rescue people’s careers, and he has about 50 TV shows at any given time, but it feels as if any other opportunities NeNe had outside of Bravo were extremely short-lived. The network created a monster for continually rewarding her bad behavior, so it’s no wonder she thinks she can now do better than her OG show. 

NeNe Would Have Had a Platform

NeNe Leakes/Instagram

Even though some fans might argue that NeNe continuously had a platform to tear the women down and not truly work on her own career, it was a platform nonetheless. Fans tuned in each week to hear what NeNe had to say, even if it was messy. She took the attention for granted, and instead of setting up options for a career path while on the show, she just let it all fizzle out, essentially proving she should have never left the Real Housewives of Atlanta.

Sadly, there were some moments when NeNe could have grabbed back the reins and maybe even stopped herself from leaving, but she didn’t. I almost feel as if Bravo is thrilled that she is no longer a housewife, as their production crew now doesn’t have to worry about being pushed into a closet. It looks like the joke is on NeNe, who is no longer laughing all the way to the bank with her Bravo paycheck.