Actor Claims ‘The Real Housewives’ Ruined TV

Real Housewives stars.

Bravo Real Housewives stars Theresa Giudice, Erika Girardi and Kandi Burruss.

“The Real Housewives” is one of the biggest reality franchises on TV, but not everyone is a fan. In an October 2022 interview, an actor who has ties to Bravo TV host Andy Cohen slammed the Housewives and blamed the franchise for “ruining” television.

Here’s what you need to know:

‘Sex and the City’ Star Mario Cantone Said Shows Like ‘The Real Housewives’ Ruined TV

Mario Cantone is best known for his role as Anthony Marentino in the HBO series “Sex and the City” and its spinoff, “And Just Like That.” And while he was recently revealed to be the Maize on “The Masked Singer,” that’s about as far as he wants to go with reality TV.

In an October 26, 2022 interview on the “Behind the Velvet Rope with David Yontef” podcast, Cantone was asked if he watches shows like “The Real Housewives,” and he clapped back.

“No, never saw an episode,” the 62-yar-old actor told Yontef. “Never saw an episode of the Kardashians or the Housewives.  I don’t like it. I feel it’s ruined television. It has dumbed everything down.”

Cantone went on to say reality shows are the reason why Donald Trump got elected as President in 2016. “Because we have dumbed down and people can’t turn away from those big mouths screaming at you,” he said.

“You know how Truman Capote said if you live in L.A. your IQ goes down every, a point every day?” Cantone continued. “I feel that if you watch reality shows, that’s true. I mean, when I lived in L.A. at one point I thought ‘Joanie Loves Chachi’ was actually a good show! And that’s when I knew I had to move.”

Cantone clarified that he does not consider “The Masked Singer” or other TV competition shows such as “Dancing with the Stars” or “American Idol” to be reality shows. He also said he would jump at the chance to be a judge on a TV talent competition.

Cantone previously hinted at his disdain for the Housewives. He once tweeted that it is “so embarrassing” that former Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway is of Italian heritage, writing, “It’s so embarrassing. As embarrassing as the Real Housewives of New Jersey.”

Andy Cohen Tried to Get Mario Cantone His Own Bravo Show

Cantone actually has some major crossovers with Bravo bigwig Andy Cohen, who has been heavily involved in “The Real Housewives” franchise since its inception. They both share Sarah Jessica Parker as a close friend. And in the “Velvet Rope” interview, Cantone confirmed that Cohen once tried to get him his own show reminiscent of Kathy Griffin’s “My Life on the D-List,”  a successful reality show that aired for six seasons on Bravo,  but he turned the offer down.

“Yeah, he did,” Cantone said of Cohen. “And I love him. But I was like, No, no, no, no. [Griffin] did that well because she kept stayed above it, you know.  I don’t know if I could have stayed above it, and he wanted to bring in my Italian-American family, because I would do that in my standup. …So, you know, he wanted to bring in my sisters and my brother. I was like, yeah, I’m not gonna be responsible for making my mentally ill family famous. That’s not happening. I’m not stupid. There’s just no way. No way.”

In another crossover, Cohen actually auditioned for a job that went to Cantone. In a 2019 episode of “Watch What Happens Live,” Cohen revealed that “Sex and the City” boss Michael Patrick King had him audition for a role on the HBO series.

“Michael Patrick King for some reason was like, ‘Come in and read for … the part that wound up going to Mario Cantone,” Cohen said. “I think it was the party planner, which was a huge part.”

“I don’t think the expectation was for it to wind up being such a huge part,” Cohen added. “Mario is so great that they were probably like, ‘Okay, well we have to.’”

Cantone ended up appearing in 12 episodes of “Sex and the City” as well as both big-screen movies and 10 episodes of the 2021 spinoff series, per IMDb.

But Cohen did make a couple of cameos on SATC. He appeared alongside Sarah Jessica Parker’s character in a scene set at a gay bar and he also played a shoe salesman in the final season of the show.

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