LOS ANGELES NeNe Leakes, a former star of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”, sued the companies behind Wednesday’s show. She claimed that they allowed a hostile work environment and tolerated racism.
According to the lawsuit, Leakes, a Black woman, complained to executives about years’ worth of racist comments made by Kim Zolciak–Biermann, a white housewife. However, only Leakes was able to sue.
It names as defendants NBCUniversal (Bravo), Bravo, production company True Entertainment and Truly Original executives, and Andy Cohen, executive producer of “Housewives”, but not Zolciak–Biermann.
According to the suit, “NBC and Bravo foster a corporate environment in which racially-insensitive behavior is tolerated, if not encouraged,”
Emails to Zolciak-Biermann and defendants requesting comment were not immediately returned.
From 2020:NeNe Leakes, star of ‘Real Housewives; calls out Bravo and Andy Cohen; discusses’systemic racism.
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54-year old Leakes was an actor and TV personality whose legal name Linnethia Montique Leakes. Between 2008 and 2020, she was one of the main stars of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”.
It claims that the cast planned to attend a barbecue during the first season of the series, which aired 2008, and Kim Zolciak – Biermann, a housewife, replied to the idea with words to the effect: “I don’t want NeNe to sit around and eat chicken.” The suit claims that the statement perpetuated an offensive stereotype about African Americans.
According to the suit, Zolciak–Biermann made “racially offensive” and stereotypical comments about Kandi Burruss’ new home in 2012. She called her neighborhood a “ghetto” while perpetuating a racial stereotype with an offensive comment about Burruss needing a swimming pool.
The suit claims that Zolciak Biermann used the N word to refer to Leakes after a dispute with them in the same year. It also claims that Zolciak Biermann falsely implied Leakes had used drugs and called her house a “roach nest.”
‘Heartbroken’:After Gregg Leakes’ passing, NeNe Leakes shares sweet video.
The suit claims that Leakes made complaints to the show’s executives, but they did not “terminate their relationship with ZolciakBiermann, nor take any other meaningful steps to end her racially offensive behavior.” They even gave her her own show as a reward.
“From the very beginning of the series, NeNe was the subject of systemic racism from Kim ZolciakBiermann, her co-star,” Leakes’ lawyer David deRubertis stated in a statement.
Joe Habachy, another Leakes attorney, stated via email that NeNe wakes up feeling overwhelmed by the unfortunate and avoidable events.
Leakes claims that her racism complaints led to Leakes being removed from the show in 2020, before its 13th season.
According to the suit Leakes was involved in negotiations for the season as Black Lives Matter was gaining momentum. Leakes was a vocal supporter.
Executives wanted to keep Leakes quiet about the cause, keeping them away from episodes where Leakes would discuss BLM, the suit alleges.
According to the suit, “As Black Lives Matter swept our nation,” Mrs. Leakes Bravo’s historically best Black female talent should have embraced NBC and Bravo.” “NBC, Bravo, & True instead forced her out the ‘house she built’ and denied her a regular role.”
The suit claims that the defendants’ actions are in violation of federal employment and antidiscrimination laws. It seeks monetary damages which will be determined at trial.
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