In case it wasn’t already clear that Andy Cohen and Lisa Vanderpump value profits over morals, it should be now.
In two separate interviews, both Andy and Lisa expressed their disappointment in the mass firings on Vanderpump Rules that occurred in June 2020.
But according to Andy, the firings weren’t his idea. In fact, if he had his way, he would have kept them all on. He told the New York Times,
“It’s more interesting to sit in the moment with people that you have a rooting interest in and watch them find their way than it is just turning out the lights and forgetting it existed.”
Because I’m sure the next season of Vanderpump Rules would have been all about the cast’s anti-racism work and re-education, right?
In truth, the show would have spent precisely one episode dealing with the cast’s racism before swiftly moving on to their regularly-scheduled drama.
It’s also important to note that nobody is “turning out the lights and forgetting it existed.” We are merely choosing not to give a platform to ignorant, racist people. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Unfortunately, Andy wasn’t the only one who felt that way. Lisa Vanderpump recently appeared on The Skinny Confidential’s Him & Her podcast where she reflected on the firings. She said,
“Of course, I do think sometimes people should be punished and there should be punitive ramifications and actions do have consequences, but I think people can grow from their mistakes. I really do, and I think reality television is quite a good place to learn and see the growth.”
Yeah, I’m sure Stassi and Kristen’s return to reality tv would have been a really good place…. for ratings, that is.
Lisa then went on to defend Stassi specifically and said,
“I think there was a little lack of awareness with Stassi and I think she lived in her own bubble.”
“It wasn’t right what they did at all, but do I think they’re racist? 1,000% not. Because I have a lot of diverse people working for me that they’ve all been working very close to for many years. Do I think it was a racist action? Not at all. I just think it was awful timing, and stupid and ignorant.”
There are so many things wrong with this statement that I don’t even know where to begin.
First of all, everyone is a little bit racist. It’s built into our culture and society so if you truly believe you’re 1000% not racist then you’re the one who’s ignorant.
Next, the whole “they’ve worked closely with a diverse staff” is essentially the same as “well, I have a Black friend” defense.
Third, Stassi’s actions were racist. Period. She and Kristen decided that their Black coworker Faith Stowers looked like a woman who was wanted for theft, proceeded to call the police on her, and then laughed and bragged about it several years later.
Everything about that screams racist. They targeted a Black coworker and called the cops on her for no reason other than the color of her skin matched that of the theft suspect. That’s racist.
Vanderpump Rules is not the place for privileged white people to unlearn their racist behavior. And as much as Andy and Lisa may have wanted to save their huge cash cow, there is no excuse for what they did. People who commit racist actions do not get to go about their merry way and appear on TV as if nothing happened.
Sorry, Andy and Lisa. You’re just going to have to find a new reality show from which to make your millions.
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Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, and Tiger Beat. Her favorite Housewife is Bethenny Frankel and when she’s not watching RHONY, you can probably find her obsessing over her tuxedo cat Tom or hoarding drugstore lipsticks.