James Kennedy at the Vanderpump Rules Season 11 premiere
Photo by River Callaway/Variety via Getty Images

James Kennedy Apologizes for Disrespectful Jo Wenberg Merch, Will Split Profits

Many Vanderpump Rules cast members quickly whipped out merch throughout Season 10, taking an opportunity to cash in on the Scandoval frenzy. Lala Kent released Send it to Darrell apparel. Katie Maloney and Ariana Madix once offered sweatshirts and accessories advertising their still unopened sandwich shop, Something About Her. And, James Kennedy sold poo poo head and worm with a mustache swag.

So far, Season 11 has proven to be much less gripping than last season. But during last week’s episode, James had a stand-out moment when he made a crack about Tom Schwartz’s quirky “friend”/fling, Jo Wenberg.

After the episode aired, James released a t-shirt with the joke he made on it. However, he was met with a light dragging over it, so he recently apologized to Jo and claimed that he’s going to try to make it right by throwing some money her way.

James made shirts after joking that Tom likes “a Sloppy Joe”


There’s something about the latest episode of PumpRules… watch it now on @peacock! #JamesKennedy #TomSchwartz #VanderpumpRules

♬ A Manwich from VPR – Bravo

On Tuesday’s episode of VPR, the group attended yet another Something About Her sandwich tasting. Schwartzy suggested a sandwich that could “kill a hangover.” With the quickness, James exclaimed, “he wants a Manwich! We all know Tom likes a Sloppy Jo(e),” referencing Tom and Jo’s ongoing situationship.

Thus, the “very limited” Sloppy Joe t-shirt was born. The merchandise showcases a sandwich with the words “Sloppy Joe” and the phrase “there’s something about her” underneath it.

Photo Credit: @itsjameskennedy via Instagram

After backlash, James apologized and said he’ll “split the dough with Jo”

After receiving backlash labeling the merch as “cruel” and “mean,” James took to Instagram with girlfriend Ally Lewber to address the issue. Ally started the conversation by apologizing for James’ actions.

Ally began, “Sorry about my ‘Sloppy James,’ I did not approve this message or the T-shirt.”

James then apologized and vowed to give Jo a cut of any sales. “I already boosted the post somehow so I can’t delete it, but I’m sorry and I love Jo. Nothing against her. I just thought it was a funny joke. I’ll split the dough with Jo.”

The shirt is no longer listed on James’ merch site, so he either had it taken down, or it’s already sold out. Since last episode also saw Jo struggling with some of the group “bullying” her, it’s probably safe to assume she did wasn’t here for Sloppy James’ Sloppy Joe money grab.

Vanderpump Rules Season 11 continues Tuesdays at 8/7c on Bravo.