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Andy Cohen Speaks Out on Bravo Lawsuits, Bethenny Frankel

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Photo: Charles Sykes/Bravo via Getty Images

Andy Cohen spoke out (as much as he’s legally allowed to with multiple lawsuits afoot) about the criticism Bravo, the Real Housewives Franchise, and reality TV as a whole have come under recently. In a Hollywood Reporter cover story, Cohen spilled. And kudos for doing that. Bravo has been accused of racism by former RHONY star Eboni K. Williams, of undermining Leah McSweeney’s sobriety, and of enabling sexual harassment by Caroline Manzo and Brandi Glanville. Glanville has accused Cohen himself of sexual harassment, saying he allegedly sent her a video expressing “his intention to sleep with another Bravo star that night while thinking of her and invited her to watch via Facetime.” All of these concerns have been taken up by Bethenny Frankel in her quest to unionize reality TV. Here’s what Cohen had to say about Bethenny, and the workplace of Bravo.

On racism

Eboni K. Williams, the first Black Real Housewife of New York, says she tried to quit RHONY over racism, specifically racist comments made by fellow RHONY cast member Ramona Singer. Cohen said he couldn’t comment on Williams’ experience, and stressed that he’s “no longer in charge of programming decisions there.” But he says he’s proud of the work Bravo has done post-2020 to diversify its shows. “George Floyd was an important cultural shift that forced us to look at all of our programming,” he said. “Bravo made it a mandate to diversify its shows.” He cited Southern Charm and Summer House as shows that were previously “segregated,” and said there is now more representation “across the dial.”

On alcohol

Former RHONY cast member Leah McSweeney is also suing Andy Cohen and Bravo. She claims the show “intentionally plann[ed] scenarios” to exacerbate her alcoholism in order to “create morbidly salacious reality television.” She claims producers hid liquor bottles on set and intentionally undermined her sobriety to cause drama. Cohen told THR that “Unfortunately, I can’t talk about some of these things. What I’ll say about the alcohol is that we have so many sober people and people who have gotten sober on the show, like Countess Luann.” Cohen denied the allegation of producers hiding liquor bottles, saying “That’s ridiculous. We’ve been very supportive of people’s sobriety.” McSweeney’s allegation that Cohen does coke with housewives were not addressed.

On unionization

THR asked Cohen about yet another former RHONY cast member, Bethenny Frankel, and her movement to unionize reality stars. Cohen said he feels Bravo-style reality stars are compensated with exposure. “Look, you’re not drafted into the Real Housewives. You either want to be on the show or not, and you either see it as having some greater benefit for you or not. You have a business you’re trying to launch, you have a music career you’re trying to launch, you want exposure,” he said. “And so you say, ‘OK, I’m going to look at this for the long game and maybe parlay my exposure on the show into other lucrative opportunities.’ And many of them do just that.”

  • [THR]

Related

  • Reality Stars Accuse Bravo of ‘Depraved Mistreatment’
  • Brandi Glanville Accuses Andy Cohen of Sexual Harassment

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Bethy Squires , 2024-05-09 01:42:59

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