A bit of controversy was stirred up in the last season of Real Housewives of Atlanta – and not the fun, shady kind, either. At a Halloween party, series star Kenya Moore showed up in traditional Native American wear and called herself a “warrior princess,” with the other ladies only commenting on her choice in their confessionals. At the time, Moore caught backlash from spectators who accused her of cultural appropriation. Now, it seems Bravo has quietly decided to change the episode that features the offensive content.
Episode 14 of Real Housewives of Atlanta was, in fact, re-edited by Bravo, according to Variety. In the new cut of the episode, which is still available on streaming platforms, Kenya Moore and her Native American costume are never shown. Viewers can still hear Moore’s commentary but, when she's speaking, the camera is now focused on the other ladies.
After the original airing of the controversial episode on March 21, Bravo condemned the offensive costume, saying Kenya Moore did not “uphold” the network's values. The Real Housewives of Atlanta star would apologize a few days later, but many viewers saw it as too little too late for the network and parties involved who didn’t call Moore out in the moment.
Kenya Moore’s fellow Real Housewives of Atlanta castmates were much more critical of her choices during the reunion special filmed later on. Yet it surprised some viewers when Moore decided to call out co-stars Porsha Williams and Drew Sidora for their own past actions, seemingly as a way to evade the continuing conversation about herself.
The quiet play by Bravo to cut out the Real Housewives of Atlanta’s offensive content isn’t entirely a new tactic. Last year, racially-charged episodes of Southern Charm concerning Kathryn Dennis were taken down by Bravo. Moreover, when an offensive social media post from Below Deck Med star Peter Hunziker’s came to light, he was entirely edited out of the rest of his season.
Changes to television have come at a time when diversity, racism and cultural appropriation have been at the forefront, even on TV. As a result, many changes started happening. Several of Bravo’s longtime Vanderpump Rules stars, like Stassi Schroeder and Kristen Doute, were fired over past actions. It has continued even into this year, with ABC’s longtime host Chris Harrison being replaced following a controversial interview with reality star Rachel Lindsay.
Yet some believe editing and removing people’s mistakes out of public consumption is a way of hiding the behavior in question. Others argue that not cutting them out allows them to continue to gain notoriety and a platform.
Either way, Bravo seems to be taking complaints about race and equity more seriously than ever before. The network has been slowly adding more women of color to the likes of the Real Housewives franchise, and perhaps the recent change to an Atlanta episode will discourage similar moments in the future.
Freelance writer. Favs: film history, reality TV, astronomy, French fries.
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