NeNe Leakes criticized for comments in resurfaced clips amid racism lawsuit

NeNe Leakes has been criticized for some of her own questionable comments about the show after she filed a lawsuit against the companies behind the show. Real Housewives of Atlanta amid accusations of racism.

In her lawsuit — which was filed against NBCUniversal, Bravo, production companies True Entertainment and Truly Original, and housewives Executive producer Andy Cohen, among others, claimed that those at the helm tolerated and fostered a hostile and racist work environment, according to the Associated Press.

Leakes, who is black, said in her lawsuit filed in federal court in Atlanta that she had been subjected to a number of racist comments from former co-star Kim Zolciak-Biermann, who is white. Leakes claims that she, not Zolciak-Biermann, was affected by these interactions.

“NBC, Bravo and True promote a corporate and workplace culture that tolerates—if not, encourages—racially insensitive and inappropriate behavior,” the lawsuit said, which does not name Zolciak-Biermann as a defendant.

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NeNe Leakes visits “Extra” at Burbank Studios on November 18, 2019 in Burbank, California. The TV personality has sued the team behind “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”, claiming they tolerated and fostered a hostile and racist work environment.
Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

According to the suit, Zolciak-Biermann said during the first season, which aired in 2008, “words along the lines of, ‘I don’t want to hang out with NeNe and eat chicken,'” when the cast members discussed attending a barbecue. Her comment “maintained an abusive stereotype about African Americans,” the suit said.

During a housewives reunion, of which a clip this week popped up on Twitter againLeakes, real name Linnethia Monique Leakes, spoke to Cohen about the comment.

When asked about her grievances, Leakes said she found Zolciak-Biermann’s comment “very suspicious… We didn’t have chicken, we had lamb and shrimp.”

“Well, chicken, hot dogs, burgers, I mean, I just said chicken. What do you mean?’ Zolciak-Biermann said in response.

“Do you think it was racist?” asked Cohen, to which Leakes replied in the affirmative.

“Absolutely not,” said Zolciak-Biermann, who was part of a majority of Black on the show. “I’m on a show with you. Half of my friends are black. I am absolutely not racist.

“She said it was a barbecue at sunset. I was thinking barbecue chicken in my head. I just didn’t say barbecue chicken. NeNe, you know I’m not racist at all. I don’t even see color, I never did.” †

During the show’s fifth season in 2012, according to the lawsuit, Zolciak-Biermann reportedly made “racially abusive and stereotypical” comments about castmate Kandi Burruss’ new home, calling her neighborhood a “ghetto” and making a racially offensive comment. worry about whether her co-star needed a pool.

It is also alleged that Zolciak-Biermann used the N-word to refer to Leakes and other off-camera cast members after a dispute.

The lawsuit states that when Leakes complained to executives at the helm of the show, they “did not end their relationship with Zolciak-Biermann, nor take any other meaningful action to end her racially-offensive behavior.” Zolciak-Biermann started her own spin-off show, Don’t be slow.

However, Leakes, who appeared on The Real Housewives of Atlanta for several seasons between 2008 and 2020, is now under critical scrutiny by a number of social media users, who have pointed to some of the things she has said.

Podcaster China Noelle noted in a Twitter post Thursday that Lakes once referred to former castmate Claudia Jordan, who was born to a white mother and black father, as a “half-breed.”

“I don’t support NBCUniversal, but I also don’t understand how Nene Leakes, who repeatedly called Claudia Jordan ‘a HALF-WIDE wh*re’ on national television, is suing Andy Cohen or Bravo for racism,” wrote Noelle.

a clip of when Leakes used the term was shared on Twitter in 2020.

Another moment in the show, a Twitter user wrote: “LOL to NeNe trying to sue Bravo for racism at the hands of Kim. Girl, weren’t you the one who tried to blackface Kim in season 2…looks like you were the one who tried to eat someone. “

Months before the lawsuit was filed, author Bolu Babalola . also wrote discussed the incident, describing it as one of Leakes’ “out of control” moments.

“At the beginning of the season, Nene just lost control,” Babalola tweeted, “why was she trying to force Kim to do blackface as part of the alter-ego photo shoot… trying to frame her. “

Zolciak-Biermann dismissed Leakes’ suggestion during the episode and received praise from fans when the topic came up on Reddit last year.

Leakes’ attorney David deRubertis said in a statement about her time on Housewives: “From the day the series began filming, NeNe was the target of systemic racism from co-star Kim Zolciak-Biermann, which was tolerated by Bravo. executive producer Andy Cohen and other executives.”

According to the lawsuit, Leakes’ complaints led to her being pushed from the show’s cast in 2020, ahead of its 13th season, according to the Associated Press. It is alleged that Leakes’ impeachment took place amid widespread support for the Black Lives Matter movement, of which she was a public supporter.

“As the Black Lives Matter movement swept across our nation, Ms. Leakes – Bravo’s most historically successful black female talent – ​​should have been embraced by NBC, Bravo and True,” the suit read. “Instead, NBC, Bravo and True forced her out of the ‘house she built’, denying her a regular role.”

news week has reached out to representatives for Leakes, Zolciak-Biermann, Cohen, NBCUniversal, and Bravo for comment.

NeNe Leakes and Kim Zolciak-Biermann
NeNe Leakes and Kim Zolciak-Biermann attend the Ultimate Women’s Expo at Cobb Galleria on November 14, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. Leakes claimed that Zolciak-Biermann made a number of racist comments over the years they worked together on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.”
Robin L Marshall/Getty Images

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