The Real Housewives & Black Lives Matter: Why The Bravo Universe Needs To Revolt Before It’s Too
Even though I’ve been radio silent for the last month, it would be morally irresponsible if I didn’t use whatever platform I have to advocate for change. The blatant racism and police brutality that is embedded in society is not only disgusting but inhumane. Did I lose 400 followers in two hours after supporting this cause on Instagram? Yes. Do I give a fuck? No, the trash took itself out.
Several Housewives have more or less contributed to the conversation of Black Lives Matter online and one of my friends and fellow Bravoholics decided to pen an essay about how the views of reality television personalities affect not only the shows we love, but the systemic problems that exist in our society. Check it out below:
There are moments in history when sitting back and saying nothing is almost as bad as committing a violent offence yourself. And as I sit here, a privileged white person with an audience and a following, I consider the fact that it is effectively my civic duty to use my voice to invoke change no matter how large or small that change will be. So, therefore, it is vital that our Real Housewives, Bravolebrities and influencers stand up and follow me in using their voices to bring about change. I know what your first thought is as you read this, who are you? And my response is that it simply does not matter who I am. I am remaining anonymous for a reason. I am about to write an article, that could be considered almost scathing, about my own associates, some even friends who I believe are not using their platform for good.
Over the last few days, I’ve listened to my own followers say “I don’t care how my favorite Housewives and Bravolebrities vote or what their beliefs are” insinuating that it simply does not matter. Even saying, that our reality friends are characters on screen, when that simply is not the case. Our favorite Bravo stars, arguably influence and shape the minds of their viewers and fans. A lot of our Bravo stars have legions of followers who are ‘Karen’s’ who live their lives holding views that are not intellectually challenged by those with opposing views which in order help develop their own views further. So, therefore, it is of vital importance that our Wives and friends sit on the right side of history; and educate the fans, not fire up hate. Especially in a country like America, which holds a complex relationship with intelligent women.
If you are perplexed by that statement, I give you Carole Radziwill a woman with brains who used her platform to educate women during the 2016 Presidential Election, and faced backlash from fans who claimed they watch reality television for an escape. Clearly those fans have no real grasp of reality. Yet we celebrate posts from stars like The Real Housewives of Dallas’ D’Andra Simmons who remembered to post about National Hamburger Day but clearly was not aware of the Black Lives Matter movement which is existing and protesting in her very city.
As we once again, stand with our African-American brothers and sisters who face oppression and hatred at the hands of those tasked to protect us, we’ve seen the ugly head of right-wing morals and attributes become plastered all over the accounts of some of our favorite Housewives. I firstly want to look at the “All Lives Matter” housewives. I was personally disappointed when I saw Ramona Singer, of The Real Housewives of New York City, share the undermining message on her Instagram. But was I surprised? Nope. I see what people are saying, yes, I agree all lives matter. But when the Black community are being killed by oppressors, then all lives do not matter. Certain lives do. Ramona disappointed me, because even although she can be an egomaniacal monster on our screens. I do believe she’s intelligent and has a heart. And by sharing that slogan, she proved to have neither.
My message to Ramona and her fans who agree with her statement is that all lives will matter when Black Lives matter equally. As the day went on, I noticed something I was glad to see. Ramona educated herself on the matter, apologized in a statement on Instagram Live, and shared the message, Black Lives Matter. I was glad to see her clarify her mistake and grow. I understand, for a lot of you, that truly will not be good enough. And believe me, I hear you. However, let’s possibly consider that she is going in a positive direction and learning. Therefore, a conversation begins within her fan base. The same cannot be said for her Orange County friend Kelly Dodd.
For the last few weeks, Kelly’s right-wing rhetoric against the lockdown restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic has tainted her image as the savior of her franchise and reverted it back to what we all originally believed her to be: trash. Yes, I said it, trash. Kelly has made these statements that she believes then runs back to her fans, after their outrage, and falsely apologizes. So, seeing her send out a “Black Lives Matter” tweet was surprising but it didn’t fool me. Kelly's also posted Instagram stories fangirling over her Fox News fiancé presenting the news, but failed to comment on what he was actually talking about: racism. Remember when TMZ caught up with Kelly in 2016 before the general election and before she was a housewife. When she was wasted saying she didn’t like black men? Yeah, me too. Therefore a new conversation exists, are certain Housewives lacking authenticity and writing these posts to keep the fans on side, and unfortunately, I believe; yes.
Take Brauwyn Windham-Burke and compare her activity to Kelly's. Brauwnyn posted the statement, but then she marched. And she kept on posting. Like Lisa Rinna, of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, she relentlessly posted statements and facts. Followed with Beverly Hills' Sutton Stracke, who left her followers a link for an educational non-profit that educates white people on their privilege and how they can use that to help end police brutality.
It simply just translates to us as the fans that certain Housewives are far from good, and that they may portray themselves well on camera but when it comes to real-life or death moments, they let themselves down. Look at some of our favorite Bravo personalities, who’ve suffered major downfalls due to their ignorance and racism. Kathryn Calhoun Dennis, of Southern Charm fame, has gone from everyone’s favorite underdog to a racist villain after she used a monkey emoji when fighting with an African-American fan.
Former Real Housewives of Dallas leader LeeAnne Locken used racial slurs against a Mexican cast member. However, the latter was fired for her actions, Kathryn is still holding a Bravo paycheque. I truly wonder if a Bravo revolution is in the works. We the viewers and the stars are tired of these people going unaccountable, and being excused for their actions. After Kathryn went on her racist tirade, Bravo reported articles about her new haircut and lost the star of Southern Charm, Cameran Eubanks, in the process.
It goes without saying, however, that some of Bravo’s talent have stepped up to the plate, like Real Housewives of Atlanta starlet Porsha Williams, granddaughter of the heroic civil rights activist Hosea Williams, who has been protesting, bailing out and paying for legal representation for innocent protesters. Additionally, Real Housewives of New York City newbie Leah McSweeney has been doing her part and protesting. McSweeney who is a victim of police brutality has been highlighting the inequality between how her legal issues were resolved versus the treatment black victims receive. Thankfully, I’m glad to say that more Housewives have came out in support for Black Lives Matter than those who have reacted with ignorance.
Therefore I’d like to end this article thanking those who have used their platform for positive change and challenge those who have failed to rise to the bar to do better, get educated, and try make a positive difference. If you are looking for an outlet to better educate yourself head over to the Campaign Zero website for stories, information and techniques to better improve yourself. Also, I’d suggested picking up a copy of Layla Saad’s book Me and White Supremacy. I want to end this article by giving my most important point of all.
We stand with you because Black Lives Matter.