Stassi Schroeder, Kristen Doute, Max Boyens, and Brett Caprioni have all officially been fired from Vanderpump Rules.
Bravo TV announced the news in a piss-poor excuse for a statement that merely read,
The network didn’t even bother to condemn their actions, condemn racism, or even show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
On top of that, Andy Cohen released a statement in which he attempted to distance himself from the show. Although he said he “supported Bravo’s decision,” he went out of his way to remind viewers that he “has nothing to do with the show.” He said on his radio show, Radio Andy,
“I am not, I don’t — I feel like I remind people this all the time — I’m not in charge of programming at Bravo anymore. I am not an Executive Producer of Vanderpump Rules. I don’t have anything to do with the show except I love it and that I host the reunions.”
Lisa Vanderpump released an even more disappointing statement in which she claimed she was “previously unaware” of the situation (a blatant lie since she straight-up addressed Max and Brett’s tweets in the reunion). She added that while she condemns all forms of “cruelty, racism, homophobia, bigotry, and unequal treatment,” she did not condone the destructive protests.
All in all, her statement was a whole bunch of nothing.
It’s clear that Bravo TV doesn’t actually care about their cast members’ racist pasts. None of their racist rhetoric was a secret — Bravo knew about many of these incidents for years and yet did nothing until now when they wanted to look good. In fact, Bravo TV cared so little about what their cast members did and said that, when it was revealed that Max and Brett had a long history of racist rhetoric right before season 8 aired, Bravo did nothing.
And even when the topic was brought up in the season 8 reunion part 1 (which was filmed prior to George Floyd’s death and the subsequent protests), Lisa defended the boys, claiming that she had never seen a racist bone in their body (a privileged white woman not noticing her employees’ racist behavior? shocking!).
But now that Bravo has essentially been “caught in the act,” they’re doing everything they can to cover their own ass while simultaneously refusing to actually address the situation.
In case you’ve had trouble keeping up with just how many racist incidents there have been amongst the cast members, let me break it down for you.
Although Stassi was specifically fired for calling the police on former castmate Faith Stowers, Stassi has done numerous racist things prior to this — all of which have been done in an extremely public setting.
In 2017, Stassi discussed #OscarsSoWhite on her podcast, Straight Up With Stassi. She said,
“I’m like, really sick of everyone making everything about race. … I’m kind of over it. Everyone giving their impassioned speeches about race and all of that stuff, I’m like, ‘Why is it always just about African Americans?’ Why aren’t the Asians being like, ‘We’re not represented.’ Why aren’t Native Americans and Latinos being like, ‘We’re not represented.’ And whenever they get upset everyone has to go above and beyond to then make them happy. And I hate saying the word ‘them’ because I’m not … not everybody’s the same. I mean the ones that are out there bitching about things.”
She then added,
“Maybe you weren’t nominated because you didn’t do that great of a job in your movie. Like it’s not about race. It’s literally like not about what you look like at all. It’s like your acting ability, so like, what the actual f—k.”
It wasn’t only that Stassi was extremely ignorant about the situation but also that she went out of her way to claim that black people were merely “bad actors” and that’s why they haven’t won awards.
It’s a common racist tactic used by people with privilege. Many people with privilege (particularly white privilege) often claim that black people aren’t able to achieve success because they simply “aren’t good enough.” They refuse to believe that there are actually complex racist systems in place that prevent black people from achieving everything they should.
Unfortunately, this was only the beginning for Stassi.
In 2018, she also posted a picture to a selfie with Kristen Doute and Rachel O’Brien in which she called Rachel’s outfit, “criminal chic,” Kristen’s outfit, “Tupac chic,” and her own outfit “Nazi chic.”
Do I even need to explain this one to you?
And then in 2018, she and Kristen decided it would be fun to play detective and called the cops on Faith merely because they decided she “fit the profile.” Stassi told the podcast Bitch Bible in 2018,
“We are like, we just solved a f—ing a crime! We start calling the police. The police don’t give a fuck. It’s really hard to get in touch with the police unless it’s an emergency.”
Fortunately, the cops refused to take the report because they knew Faith and knew she wasn’t the culprit, but this situation could have had a very different ending. If we’ve learned anything from Breonna Taylor and George Foyd’s deaths (and so many others), it’s that calling the police on Black people is extremely dangerous. A store manager called the police on George because he believed he had paid with a counterfeit $20 bill and George ended up dead.
So even though everything ended up ok for Faith, calling the police willy-nilly on black people because you “feel like it,” is ignorant, harmful, and can be deadly. The police should be the last resort.
And yet, Stassi went on a public podcast and not only relayed this story but flat-out bragged about it. She deserved to be fired from Vanderpump Rules. She deserved to be fired by her publicist and have her endorsements revoked. She deserved to have her podcasts taken off all platforms. Plain and simple.
Stassi has since released an extremely weak apology on Instagram, writing,
“What I did to Faith was wrong. I apologize and I do not expect forgiveness. I am also sorry top anyone else that feels disappointed in me. I am going to continue to take a look closer at myself and my actions — to take the time to listen, to learn, and to take accountability for my own privilege.”
Ah, Kristen Doute.
Kristen has done a lot of horrible things over the last eight years but her involvement in the Faith/police situation was by far the worst.
In addition to calling the police on Faith based on zero evidence that she was involved in any crime. She also bragged about it on Twitter. She was clearly pleased with herself and took to Twitter to write,
“hey tweeties, doesn’t this ex #pumprules thief look familiar? Someone put her on mtv & gave her a platform for press. I didn’t wanna go there but I’m going there.”
Everything about this screams racist and ignorant.
Now that Kristen has been caught, she apologized on Instagram and wrote,
“Although my actions were not racially driven, I am now completely aware of how my privilege blinded me from the reality of law enforcement’s treatment of the black community, and how dangerous my actions could have been to her. it was never my intention to add to the injustice and imbalance.”
Jax Taylor has seemingly been conveniently left out of the Faith/police story but recently, a Twitter user discovered an old tweet in which he also perpetuated this story that Faith was a felon. He wrote on Twitter,
“She’s wanted by the police for grand theft auto and ‘awol’ from military, bad idea to be on a reality show dude. Someone’s going to jail.”
On top of that, he also made racist remarks about 90 Day Fiance star Jay Smith (who is black) back in 2018. Jay’s wife Ashley Martson recently took to Instagram to post a screenshot of Jax commenting that Jay’s nose was “the size of his head.”
In her Instagram story, Ashley (who is white) explained,
“When your nose or my nose is referenced as large it’s probably just a large nose. Black people have been historically colored to an ape or monkey, meant to be derogatory. One of the most well known racial stereotypes is referencing a black person’s nose, again suggesting it is similar to that of an ape.”
She also told a fan who commented,
“Happy to send any literature your way from history books to help you understand as to why a white person shouldn’t EVER comment on the size of a black person’s nose or lips for that matter.”
Jax has yet to comment on the situation.
Over the course of several months in 2012, Max Boyens (who is 1/4 black and white-passing) wrote several racist tweets using the N-word. Additionally, he made racist comments about Asian people and called Justin Bieber “queer” for not using the N-word in his music.
And before you even dare to say, “oh well he was just a kid!,” Max was 19 years old in 2012, so not exactly a child (not that the defense of being “young and ignorant” is valid in the first place — we were all young once and yet not all of us went around saying racist things and using the N-word).
Max’s tweets were discovered just prior to the premiere of Vanderpump Rules season 8 and yet Bravo said nothing at the time.
During the reunion, Andy Cohen quickly breezed over the topic, giving Max the chance to apologize. Max told his fellow cast members,
“If anything I just want to emphasize the apology and say how sorry I am. There’s no excuse.”
In both 2011 and 2012, Brett tweeted out numerous racist tweets, used the N-word, and said misogynistic things about women, calling them “bitches and whores.”
These tweets were also discovered in January 2020, just prior to the premiere of this past season of Vanderpump Rules. During the reunion part 1, Brett gave an extremely half-hearted apology in which he said,
“It’s not ok now. It’s something I deeply regret.”
He claimed it was just “stupid shit” he said to his friends (you know, despite it being very public on Twitter).
Since getting fired, he released a statement to ET, in which he said,
“I appreciate Lisa for the opportunity she gave me. It all started with her. Her constant support through this journey has meant a lot to me. She understood that I was a good guy who made a mistake. And, she also believed in my capacity to learn from it and change. For that, I will always be grateful.”
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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.