NeNe Leakes says “everything is fake” on Bravo and that “black girls” are treated differently than white Real Housewives behind the scenes.
Over the weekend, AllAboutTRH shared Bethenny’s long list of issues with Andy Cohen and Bravo constantly protecting the Watch What Happens Live host. Check out everything the Real Housewives of New York OG had to say HERE.
Now, we are diving into NeNe Leakes‘ issues with her former boss and network, including claims of unfair treatment and behind-the-scenes double standards.
According to NeNe, the current Real Housewives are not as authentic as the OG Housewives.
“I think for us (the OG RHOA cast), the relationships started changing, the stories to me, Season 4 or 5. We were real. I often look at them and say that everybody on there is making sh-t up,” NeNe said.
The 55-year-old also accuses the current Real Housewives of being inauthentic and performative.
“I’m telling you, when we entered, we were so good because we were real. It was authentic, we were real,” NeNe continued. “So now everybody has a fake boyfriend, a fake everything. Everything is fake, everything. They have all these stories they made up; I don’t even know how they came up [with them].”
NeNe Leakes then opened up to Bethenny Frankel about her discrimination lawsuit against Bravo. To start, the mom of two reflected on that infamous RHOA scene where she grabbed a cameraman by the t-shirt to prevent him from going into her walk-in closet. The 2019 moment, which took place during season 11, was the beginning of the end of NeNe’s career on Bravo. NeNe eventually decided to exit RHOA after season 12.
When it comes to closet-gate, NeNe says producers promised her that they wouldn’t film in her closet. She notes that they knew Gregg Leakes was in the hospital battling cancer. On top of that, NeNe insists that RHOA producers chopped up her altercation with the cameraman to make it look more extreme and to paint her as the villain.
NeNe said, “I say to my producer, ‘Listen, you guys can film; I just don’t want anybody to go into my closet, right?’ They promised me no one would go into my closet, and I’m telling you, they told those girls to do it. And they were telling to do it at a time when they also knew I was at my lowest at that point.”
She continued, “They knew that Greg was in the hospital with cancer, and they knew that, honestly, we probably shouldn’t have done that all-cast scene at my house.”
“The guy who had the camera’s a big ass guy, right? And I grabbed his t-shirt,” NeNe explained. “But the way they put it out to the world made it look as if I did something to him, like if I beat him or hit him.”
“I personally think when the brown girls do something, it is much more elevated than when you nice vanilla-looking girls are doing something. I don’t feel like it’s the same,” NeNe noted. “Those to me, those girls are pulling each other’s wigs off, busting glasses, pushing each other. We don’t push each other.”
Now, NeNe says that white Real Housewives have done far worse than her on Bravo and continue to be employed by the network.
“This is where I think we get different treatment, and there’s a difference in how we’re treated because there are so many girls doing things. You had Teresa [Giudice] flipping a table, Teresa pushing Andy down, you had girls busting glasses. You got people doing all kinds of stuff, but me grabbing the camera guy’s shirt, they acted as if it was so freaking major,” NeNe explained.
She then revealed that she decided to walk away from RHOA ahead of season 13 after only being offered six episodes, with producers claiming they only offered her a reduced role because she seemed “unhappy” on the show.
NeNe believes that her status as an OG on RHOA should have guaranteed her more respect, loyalty, and better treatment from Bravo. She also pointed out that when Teresa Giudice went to prison, Bravo halted production on the Real Housewives of New Jersey for an entire year.
“I’m the only original housewife on the show, and all the original housewives on their shows, all white women, and they are all given full episodes, and I’m the only Black original on my show, and I was given less. I was given six, and they were given 18,” NeNe argued.
Initally, NeNe claims she was willing to accept the part-time role on RHOA for season 13 thanks to the advice of her team and late husband, Gregg Leakes. However, that all changed after NeNe sat down with Bravo executives who wanted her to pick a fight with Kandi Burruss. NeNe said she didn’t think it was right to have black women attack each other amid the height of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“I think we had some issues the season prior to, and they wanted to make sure I confronted her and addressed her, and I said, ‘No, I really don’t want to do that. This is Black Lives Matter, and I don’t want to do that.’ And I didn’t do it. I felt like it was Black Lives Matter. I should have been there; they were trying to push me out at a time that was very important in the Black culture, and if I appeared that season, they wanted me to argue with Kandi, and that was something I did not want to do,” NeNe explained.
During the virtual RHOA season 12 reunion, NeNe infamously slammed her laptop shut and exited the reunion. Ever since then, NeNe claims she’s been blacklisted by Bravo.
NeNe pointed out that Bravo punished her for her antics, but other Housewives have been rewarded for similar behavior. According to NeNe, Kim Zolciak walked off the RHOA reunion stage and was rewarded with a spinoff show. Lisa Vanderpump also quit the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills in the middle of the season yet continued to be employed by Bravo and supported by the network.
“As a Black woman, I have to be able to do everything. At the end of the day, I do cartwheels and flips,” she told Bethenny. “They shut my work down. I do everything. So you mean to tell me as [a] talented person, there was nothing for me to host, there was nothing for me to act in, sing in, dance in, jump in, clap in — nothing?”
“My feelings are they pretty much said, ‘F that Black bitch!’” NeNe stated. “They never respected me, no one, to even give me one call. … I want fair treatment.”
The longtime reality TV star says she complained about unfair treatment to Bravo executives for years, but her concerns were ignored.
“I don’t know their response [to the lawsuit] because I have worked with this company for a long time. I had issues; you would think that someone there would have said, ‘Let’s pick up the phone and talk to her and see what’s happening.’ They never picked up the phone. No one ever wanted to speak to me,” NeNe alleged.
The Real Housewives of Atlanta is expected to return for season 16 in 2024.