Lisa Vanderpump is speaking out about the recent Vanderpump Rules cast firings, expressing “sadness” over their departure.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Vanderpump opened up about ousted cast members Kristen Doute and Stassi Schroeder, who were given the boot by Bravo after the public unearthed their past racist behavior toward fellow cast member Faith Stowers.
Vanderpump initially seemed to stand by the network’s decision to terminate Doute and Schroeder’s contracts and said,
“I understand why Bravo did it. It was totally inappropriate. I do believe in zero tolerance for that.”
However, almost immediately, Vanderpump contradicted herself. She said,
“But I also believe that you could come back from that, and you’re young, and you can learn from it.”
“I’m not into just kind of getting rid of people because they get it wrong. Otherwise, I’d probably have nobody work for me at this point.”
But maybe that blasé attitude is part of the problem. After all, the Vanderpump Rules universe favors the straight, the white, the privileged. Diversity is nonexistent and gay pride is exploited as a commodity. Maybe if Vanderpump prioritized a diverse cast, she wouldn’t have to worry about her onscreen employees being whittled down to zero as they continue to “get it wrong.”
If she had enforced the “zero tolerance” policy she claims to support, she would have fired cast members Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni immediately after their own racist behavior was exposed. Instead, she let them remain on the show well after their racist tweets were unearthed. She’s also let Jax Taylor stay on the show for years despite all the horribly offensive things he’s said and done (he still has not been fired).
Additionally, Doute and Schroeder are 37 and 32, respectively. They’re not kids by any stretch of the imagination. What they did wasn’t a matter of ignorance or misunderstanding; it was gross, deliberate, and racist, point-blank. And it’s not like these incidents happened a decade ago. Rather, it was in 2018, just a few short years ago, when they posted self-satisfied tweets and spoke publicly in interviews about calling the police on their only black cast member. And, just a year before that, Stassi Schroeder went on her podcast, “Straight Up With Stassi,” to deliver her now-infamous rant about how racism is “always just about African-Americans” and wondered why “whenever they get upset, then everybody has to go above and beyond to make them happy.”
Lisa Vanderpump claims to not have any visibility into the casting decisions of the show. Yet, both she and husband Ken Todd boast executive producer credits. It’s hard to imagine that she couldn’t single-handedly champion a better, more progressive direction for the show.
Instead, in her half-hearted attempt at condemning racism from her cast members in between professing the “love” she has for them, she is essentially giving them yet another pass for their unacceptable behavior.
And that, too, is unacceptable.
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Michelle Vincent is a project manager and freelance writer. She enjoys traveling, is worried she won’t love her future children as much as she loves her dogs, and is actively recruiting podcast recommendations.