The Bravo firings kicked off last month and only lasted for a few weeks. Most of the fallout focused on Vanderpump Rules, a reality show about a group of young people associated with a West Hollywood restaurant. The firings kicked off with Stassi Schroeder, Kristen Doute, Max Boyens, and Brett Caprioni losing their jobs over their past racist actions and comments.
The network fired the two VPR men for their past racist tweets, while Stassi and Kristen lost their jobs for racially profiling their former cast member Faith Stowers. The firings only happened due to the outcries after George Floyd’s death. Protests erupted all over the world, calling for a change to systemic racism and police brutality.
Bravo culture is extremely white
As per The Cut, Bravo has a lot of work to do. While it praises itself for being a “diverse” network, it’s far from it. Most of its reality stars are segregated on their reality shows. Take the Real Housewives of New York and the Real Housewives of Atlanta for example. RHONY has an overly white cast, while RHOA features all Black women.
Journalist Bridget Read addressed Bravo’s first-ever fan convention. When she attended the three-day event in November 2019, she noticed that its fanbase was overly white as well.
“It was a mass of exclusively white women, ecstatically gathered like congregants in a rose-soaked megachurch,” Read wrote. “The friction between the frivolous unreality of the shows – heavily edited and produced, about people encouraged to act in outsize ways – and the sobering fact that these were real human beings was uncomfortable.”
Most of those fans admitted that the reality shows are an escape. Both the network and its fans have benefited from considering themselves as apolitical. Most of the fans who watch get to see themselves on television. But it’s unclear where Bravo will go from here.
Racist casting goes deep
Are the current Bravo cast firings just a superficial gesture? Is the network making face in the time of great change? The network has yet to address the issues that play into the white-centric production and casting of its reality shows. It’s a model that the network successfully followed for years – and it worked, for the most part.
But most of these choices are made from the white producers and editors, as per BuzzFeed News. It’s almost as if it panders to its white audience. Firing just a few cast members isn’t going to correct a centuries-long problem. If anything, Bravo’s racial problem is a reminder that more work needs to be done behind the scenes.
Andy Cohen promises more firings to come
The late-night host is also the face of the Bravo network. He features a wide variety of guests on his show, Watch What Happens Live. But it’s also a reminder that “diversity” brings up more questions about its hiring practices, behind-the-scenes production, and editing.
Cohen is trying to make more changes. He dedicated two episodes of his Watch What Happens Live to discuss systemic racism with RHOA star Porsha Williams and comedian and activist W. Kamau Bell. Both Bell and Williams shared their experiences with racism.
Soon after, Cohen revealed on his SiriusXM show that he had wonderful conversations with RHOA castmate Kandi Burruss-Tucker. Even NeNe Leakes wanted to offer the executive some advice.
“Well, there is a lot more to discuss, there is a lot more and we’re already having those discussions,” he said. “And I had a great, very long talk with Kandi two days ago about … she had some really fantastic suggestions for how we can move forward, and we’re all ears.”
Cohen also broke his silence about the Vanderpump Rules firings, as per All About the Tea. He revealed that there were more Bravo firings to come.
“There’s so much happening in the Bravo universe. I will say this: so much talk about Vanderpump Rules and then of course the reunion ended up airing last night. I will say this about what happened. I absolutely support Bravo’s decision, I think it was the right decision,” Cohen simply stated.
However, he didn’t reveal when the next group of firings would take place. It’s likely that the network could move some of their popular shows forward without certain reality stars.
Bravo went quiet on firings
But it’s been almost a month since the last firing. Below Deck Mediterranean’s Peter Hunziker was the latest reality star to lose his job. Bravo and 51 Minds fired the deckhand on Wednesday, June 17 for a racist and misogynistic comment he made on his Instagram account.
The Bravo firings have died down since then. Cohen said they were “ongoing.” So, what happened since then? How does the network plan to make any changes? It hasn’t said anything since then.
Meanwhile, Bravo fans have been calling for the firings of Jax Taylor, Brittany Cartwright, Lala Kent, Kelly Dodd, Kim Zolciak-Biermann, and countless other personalities. It’s only a matter of time if Cohen’s conversations worked and will help reshape the network and its shows.
What are your thoughts? Do you think Bravo will fire more reality stars? Or, do you think they will sweep this under the rug? Sound off below in the comments section.
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