Former ‘Nsync singer Lance Bass said Vanderpump Rules star Jax Taylor isn’t racist after some fans call for him to be fired. Taylors previous racist comments resurfaced after his co-stars–stars Stassi Schroeder, Kristen Doute, Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni–were fired by Bravo on June 9.
The following day, former 90 Day Fiance star Ashley Martson called for Taylor to be dismissed, posting screenshots of the Vanderpump Rules star saying husband Jay Smith–a native of Jamaica–had a large nose in 2018. In a tweet from 2017, Taylor also alleged former co-star Faith Stowers had committed a crime.
“I do not think Jax Taylor is a racist or a homophobe and I have said that millions of times,” Bass said on his podcast on June 17, as noted by Us Weekly. “I would not be acquaintances with someone if I thought you were a flat out racist or homophobe. It doesn’t make sense.”
Michael “Turkey” Turchin, who married Bass in 2014, recounted Bass having a conversation with Taylor about Smiths nose, explaining that the comment had connections to racism.
“You said the comment you made about the nose … That’s not OK,” Turchin remembered, according to Us Weekly. “Lance said, ‘I don’t think you’re racist. I don’t think you said that with the intent of being racist … but what you said is racist and you have to understand you can’t just promote these racist things.’”
“If you don’t know that at this point … that’s just your ignorance,” Bass added.
Will Taylor Get Fired From ‘Vanderpump Rules’?
For now, Taylor has not been fired from the series. There has, however, been a large call for Taylor to be removed from the series.
Martson is just one of those people. “Did y’all see bravo fired four cast members? Well @bravotv don’t leave out old Jax Taylor who harassed us when our show first aired. If you don’t understand why I find this racist please watch my story. Education is key,” she wrote last week.
A Change.org petition circulated with more than 10,000 people signing to have Taylor fired from Vanderpump Rules. “Jax has a long, public history of racism, misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia,” part of the petition says. “He was just as involved in calling the police and making accusations against Faith Stowers, which is what got Stassi and Kristen fired.”
LGBTQ+ activist Billie Lee, a transgender woman, told Page Six Taylor didn’t want to film with her he “didn’t want to risk his career” over accidentally offending her or viewers. “He said, ‘Yeah, I didn’t want you around because I don’t want everything I worked hard for to be taken away. We shouldn’t have to tippytoe around Billie because she’s trans,’” Lee told the outlet.
“I had some of the hardest times with that show and a lot of my mental health took its toll,” the transgender activist told Page Six. “I slipped into a really bad depression … and when the suicidal thoughts came in, that’s when I knew I had to really, like, check my mental health and get back into order and disconnect myself from the whole Vanderpump stuff.”
Is ‘Vanderpump Rules’ Getting Canceled?
Bravo hasn’t announced any decisions about potentially canceling the series. They have already fired four people and there’s a call from thousands of viewers to terminate Taylor. The Bravo reality TV star has not issued a public statement about the backlash and has remained quiet on social media.
After initially being silent on the firings, executive producer Lisa Vanderpump condemned racism, homophobia and bigotry of any kind in a statement on June 10.
I love and adore our employees and I am deeply saddened by some of the lack of judgment that has been displayed. As many of you know, after watching me for 10 years, I have always been an equal rights activist and ally – my family, my businesses and I condemn all forms of cruelty, racism, homophobia, bigotry and unequal treatment. We’ve never tolerated it in the workplace or our lives.