A group of 12 human rights organizations is going after Bravo and Andy Cohen for the new “Real Housewives” series.
Ahead of the premiere of the new housewives franchise, “Real Housewives of Dubai” a collection of human rights groups have penned an open letter urging the network and its face (Cohen) to speak out against the rulers of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates.
Here’s everything you need to know:
The Organizations Urge Bravo to Do 4 Things to ‘Clearly Demonstrate Your Opposition to the Women’s Rights Violations, Homophobia, and Horrifying Violence’
The 12 organizations, Freedom Forward, Action Corps, Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues, CODEPINK, European Centre For Democracy and Human Rights, FairSquare, Health Advocacy International, Human Rights Sentinel, Just Foreign Policy, Last Mile4D, Peace Action, and the ReThinking Foreign Policy came together to form a three-page letter urging the network to take specific steps to “demonstrate your opposition to the women’s rights violations, homophobia, and horrifying violence in Yemen that have been perpetrated by the rulers of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates.”
“We are deeply concerned by your decision to produce and launch the latest edition of the Real Housewives series in Dubai,” the letter reads. “Dubai is an absolute monarchy that is part of the dictatorship of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). By setting the Real Housewives franchise inside Dubai, you are helping the UAE dictatorship hide its male rulers’ misogyny, legalized homophobia, and mass violence against women.”
The letter includes a four-step request to the network including revealing if the rulers of UAE funded the show in any way, running a disclaimer at the start of each episode, donating portions of profits of the series to “independent human rights organizations” and teaching fans of the show about the “dismal” of human rights by publishing online resources and holding a human rights session at BravoCon.
The letter also provided examples of “women’s rights violations and homophobic policies” including links to news articles backing up those claims.
Human Rights Group Says Bravo Is ‘Insulting the Intelligence of Their Viewers by Whitewashing the Human Rights Violations’
Jon Rainwater, the Peace Action Executive Director, likened the production of RHOD to the franchise suddenly filming in Russia.
“Imagine if [Cohen] and Bravo decided to launch the Real Housewives of Moscow during this terrible time for the people of Ukraine? The rulers of the UAE and Dubai are responsible for a horrible war in Yemen that has killed countless women and men. Bravo and NBCUniversal are insulting the intelligence of their viewers by whitewashing the human rights violations and military adventures of the UAE dictatorship,” he told Yahoo.
A UAE Influencer Spoke Against the Show ‘This Does Not Represent the Real Housewives of Dubai’
Majid Alamry, an influencer in UAE spoke out against the show in a video he posted to his Instagram account.
“My simple message was that this does not represent the real housewives of Dubai,” he said in the video. “But they spoke about all women. I totally believe that a majority of women in Dubai are hard-working and have achieved a lot. They are doing this while raising children. Of course, we have fun and enjoy ourselves, which is a beautiful thing, but that aspect of our lives cannot overlap with our actual identity.”
The RHOD cast includes Nina Ali, Chanel Ayan, Caroline Brooks, Sara Al Madani, Lesa Milan, and Caroline Stanbury. The show premieres on June 1.