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Bravo Shocks ‘RHOA’ Fans By Removing NeNe Leakes’ Likeness — Again

NeNe Leakes, Bravo RHOA, RHOA Season 15, Real Housewives of Atlanta, Lawsuit

Bravo has shocked some RHOA fans by removing NeNe Leakes’ likeness from Sunday’s episode — and it wasn’t the first time it was done this season, either.

During the June 11 episode of RHOA, production flashed backed to 2011 to showcase the evolution (or destruction) of Kandi Burruss Tucker’s relationship with Marlo Hampton and used previous show intros to highlight just how long this feud has been going on for.

The only problem? They removed Ms. NeNe Leakes from the Season 4 intro, creating a WTF moment for most viewers and longtime fans of the show.

Check out the side-by-side shots from the Sunday, June 11 episode of RHOA, below.

While the decision to remove NeNe’s likeness from the RHOA episode does make sense considering she sued both Bravo and Andy Cohen, accusing them of racism among other allegations, this is the first time the network has removed talent from a show intro or promotional image in this way.

The updated intro was clearly shocking and upsetting to most Real Housewives of Atlanta fans, with the #RHOA hashtag currently full of hot takes surrounding the NeNe issue.

As previously reported, NeNe Leakes sued both Bravo and Andy Cohen back in April 2021, accusing them of fostering a racist work environment.

“The lawsuit filed in federal court in Atlanta says Leakes, who is Black, complained to executives about years of racist remarks from fellow housewife Kim Zolciak-Biermann, who is white, but that only Leakes suffered consequences,” read a report from the Associated Press at the time.

Details of NeNe’s lawsuit

According to NeNe’s suit, Kim had made multiple racist comments around and to her while filming the show, but the network never acted. “NBC, Bravo and True foster a corporate and workplace culture in which racially-insensitive and inappropriate behavior is tolerated – if not, encouraged,” the documents state. Kim was eventually let go after a disastrous Season 10 reunion performance in which the women confronted her and she yelled at Andy in a bathroom.

According to NeNe’s suit and the AP report, here are some of the instances she is referencing:

  • When asked to attend a barbecue during the filming of Season 1, Kim is accused of saying something along the lines of “I don’t want to sit around with NeNe and eat chicken.”
  • During Season 5, Kim received a tour of Kandi Burruss’ new house and made multiple “racially offensive and stereotypical” comments. Viewers will remember that Kim referred to Kandi’s neighbourhood as the “ghetto.”
  • Kim allegedly used the N-word to refer to NeNe and the other Housewives after a dispute. No timeframe for this allegation is listed in the AP report.
Nene Leakes leaving Real Housewives of Atlanta, Nene Leakes, The Real Housewives of Atlanta, RHOA, RHOA 13, Bravo TV
Bravo has shocked some RHOA fans by removing NeNe Leakes’ likeness from Sunday’s episode — and it wasn’t the first time it was done this season, either. (Photo: Bravo)

Again, while Kim is specifically mentioned in the lawsuit, NeNe did not list her as a defendant. The suit alleges that despite all the evidence against Kim, the network still proceeded with eight seasons of her spinoff show, Don’t Be Tardy.

“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,” Leakes’ attorney said in a statement at the time.

Lawsuit dismissed

In August 2022, it was announced that the shocking lawsuit had been dismissed.

The Sun reported that according to court documents, the former Real Housewives of Atlanta star has filed to dismiss the case, which previously alleged that Andy and her former employer ignored allegations of racism on the RHOA set.

“On Friday, a document filed in Atlanta courts shared NeNe and Bravo had filed a joint dismissal without prejudice, meaning she can re-open the case in the future,? reads the report, with the outlet noting that it isn’t made clear in the documents why NeNe has agreed to drop the lawsuit.

“All Parties consent and stipulate the foregoing dismissal,” the document reads, according to The Sun. “No party will seek recovery of costs or attorney’s fees in any submission to this Court.”

The outlet reached out to Bravo and NeNe for comment but no one provided comment about the dismissal news.

After reading the details of the lawsuit, it is clear why Bravo is hesitant to feature NeNe in the episodes and as some fans have pointed out, rights surrounding the usage of her likeness was probably included in the dismissal. That said, it still seems shady for production to have included this flashback when it wasn’t crucial to the episode’s storyline.

The Real Housewives of Atlanta airs Sundays on Bravo.

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