The rumors of a Real Housewives of Atlanta cast shakeup are confirmed. After months of reports indicating that some of the veterans would be replaced by new blood, Cynthia Bailey announced that she is leaving the show just days before news of another departure. Co-star Porsha Williams has announced since then that she, too, is quitting the show. But first, let's talk about how the two stars’ posts are weirdly, eerily similar – before we all turn to what this means for the future of the Real Housewives of Atlanta.
Bravo fans are well aware that Porsha Williams and Cynthia Bailey couldn't be more different if they tried. Where Williams was always poking fun and knee-deep in the drama on the Real Housewives of Atlanta, Bailey was much more careful and considerate. So it surprised me considerably that both their announcements were practically inverted images, down to the literal images and words chosen. Bailey wrote that it was a “difficult and heartfelt decision not to return” that came after “much thought and consideration.” Likewise, Williams said in her Instagram post,
Both Porsha Williams and Cynthia Bailey also make it a point to thank their higher ups – NBCUniversal, Bravo, Truly Original, and Andy Cohen among them. Moreover, the two posts have similar vague hints about their future projects. (Bailey calls them “new adventures,” while Williams deemed it a “new chapter.”) I want to say that the two Real Housewives of Atlanta stars seemingly even had the same ideas about their pictures used, which are both significantly posed, professional shots with neutral backgrounds.
Now, of course, exit announcements (much like public apologies) often follow the same tune. I get that. But Porsha Williams and Cynthia Bailey's posts are so alike that I wonder if Bravo actually wrote them for them and forgot to take into account their individual personalities. However, the more likely possibility is that both the Real Housewives of Atlanta vets are following strict PR directives to reduce any bad blood amidst breaking ties. Their co-star NeNe Leakes had some trouble with this herself when she decided to leave the show last year.
Technically, Cynthia Bailey's departure from the Real Housewives of Atlanta was somewhat to be expected because her storylines weren't doing very much. Her bachelorette party prompted the biggest drama of the entire last season (affectionately referred to as “Strippergate”), but it was actually all orchestrated by Kandi Burruss. Similarly, fans had theorized early on that Porsha Williams was quitting the show due to Strippergate and her shocking engagement to Simon Guobadia.
Porsha Williams’ decision to quit the Real Housewives of Atlanta after 10 years doesn't spell good news for the future of the show. Her shady moments and willingness to go toe-to-toe with others has been central to the drama. It would take someone truly messy to fill her shoes, and co-star Kenya Moore has some interesting ideas. Nevertheless, according to executive producer Andy Cohen, the move might not be entirely permanent. He wrote on Williams’ goodbye post:
Hopefully Andy Cohen meant what he said. Because the dynamic on the Real Housewives of Atlanta might just be put on pause itself while Porsha Williams is out of the show. Here was the post that Williams used to announce her departure:
A photo posted by on
Only time will tell what kind of drama is on the way next, with the new additions or the recent departures. Real Housewives of Atlanta has been going strong going on 14 seasons now and rolled with a lot of changes, so it should be interesting to see how the Bravo series adapts this time around.
I am a vegan feminist. I'm fascinated by all things space/stars. I love film history, reality television, and my cat Bubbe.
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