Just as we were getting ready to cover NeNe Leakes promoting a petition to boycott Bravo, we looked up and she was starting an Instagram Live discussion with none other than Ben Crump, attorney for George Floyd to discuss that very topic. What was amazing about this is seeing Leakes outside of her usual reality tv sometimes defensive mode, something she touched on later in the discussion, but she was very honest and genuine about her feelings and experiences with the network over the years.
Shockingly, Leakes for the first time I’ve ever seen, was at a loss for words. What do you mean NeNe Leakes didn’t know what to say? Who ever thought we would see the day? Well as she stated, a woman who was just a country girl who found herself in the center of Hollywood so this puts her at odds with what has gotten her to where she is now.
Now putting the boycott into context, she didn’t initiate it. She said a fan created it and she’s simply sharing it supporting those that are supporting her. She repeatedly asked for Bravo to come to the table with her to discuss what lead her to deciding to leave the network. She pointed out to Crump that others around her were offered means of advancement while she was not.
As an example of biased treatment by Bravo, Leakes specifically points out Kim Zolciak as an example of how they both started on The Real Housewives of Atlanta at the same time and Zolciak was given her own show while she was not. Leakes also explained how she is who casted the entire first season by herself. A producer met her at her home, wanted to meet her friends and just like that they had a show. She also says she never received credit for doing this.
Another example Leakes gave was Mariah Huq who spoke about being treated terribly as a means of being bullied out of her role as creator and executive producer of Married to Medicine. She spoke about that in an interview with The Jasmine Brand over the summer. Ultimately Leakes said she did this for those who feel they didn’t have a voice to speak up and that she essentially did not want to have bad blood with the network. While going live, Tamar Braxton popped in asking if anyone from WeTV was present in the comments when Crump pointed out the number of recent suicides people in reality tv have committed in the last 5 years.
And as for who deserves what from the network, Leakes challenged the network to find anyone who has made them more money than she has and said she would like to see the receipts proving such. In the early years and even over time, Leakes was said to be the breakout star by all of the talk show hosts and a lot of Hollywood. How that did not allow the network to give her other opportunities or even a leadership role in the show, she doesn’t understand.
Our initial thoughts in hearing Leakes talk with Crump and even before was that the woman who has helped redefine reality television should work on other projects. Success is the best revenge and unfortunately this does make her look bitter or at a standstill careerwise. That’s part of the issue with Monique. Look at what all she’s done since Precious. You can have your grievances but you have to keep it moving and I would hate to see her go down that same road.
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