On October 30, Vanity Fair published an exposé about Bravo TV featuring interviews with former reality stars and producers who claimed the network had permitted and encouraged excessive drinking and brushed over allegations of discrimination and microaggressions.
Andy Cohen, who remained tight-lipped about the article after it was published, told TODAY on November 29 that he thought it was “a factually incorrect rehash. I think much of it had been reported already, and it lacked context.”
“You can say, ‘Oh, Andy did a poll comparing two Housewives’ bad nose jobs,’ and without any further explanation, that may cause you to raise your eyebrow,” he explained. “But the continuation of the sentence would be ‘…after an episode of the Jersey ‘Housewives’ where two women compared what they described as their bad nose job.’ So I just thought that there was a lot of context missing.”
Cohen’s comments were in reference to the article pointing out that the WWHL host had recently presented a poll in one episode asking, “Which Real Housewife of New Jersey has the better bad nose job?”
Follow the Heavy on Bravo TV Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Andy Cohen Said Bravo Addressed Incidents That Did Happen With Its Reality Stars
Cohen also raised some other claims made while speaking with TODAY and said, “Specifically, it was a rehash of things that have been reported on and — most importantly — addressed by Bravo. We’ve addressed each of the things that did happen, and we’ve moved forward.”
Some of the claims made in Vanity Fair were that Bravo encouraged drinking in excess. RHONY alum Leah McSweeney told the publication she was told it was “boring” when she was sober.
On September 22, 2023, NBCU entertainment chairman Frances Berwick told production teams that a new alcohol policy was to be rolled out, it continued. “Building on our current protocols, we will require that you deliver an expanded alcohol-related training to the cast, crew, and production team,” the message stated, according to the publication. Berwick also wrote to make enhanced mental health support available to cast and crew, both on set and after filming.
The exposé also alleged that RHONY star Ramona Singer used a racial slur while filming the show’s 13th season. After the article came out, Singer was cut from the BravoCon 2023 lineup, Page Six reported. Cohen later told Us Weekly that it was the right decision.
Andy Cohen Said He Believed That the ‘Real Housewives’ Franchise Was Empowering Women
Just a few weeks after Vanity Fair published its piece, Bravo talent and fans descended on Las Vegas for the 2023 edition of its fan convention, BravoCon.
The event has been described by many fans as a positivity-filled weekend between fans and reality stars. RHOC alum Vicki Gunvalson, who was among the cast of the first-ever Housewives, received the inaugural Wifetime Achievement Award. “You saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself,” she told Cohen during her acceptance speech.
Cohen told TODAY that Gunvalson’s comments were just one example of Housewives feeling empowered from being on these shows. “I think BravoCon was further validation of what is really going on between the reality of our relationship with our talent and the place that these shows hold with our audience,” he added.