Eboni K. Williams is joining The Real Housewives of New York City as the show’s first Black Housewife and ahead of the new season, she opened up about the pressures of joining the franchise in a new and rather extensive interview.
Talking to Page Six, Eboni explains that she was surprised that over the 12 seasons of the show that there has never been a Black cast member on RHONY. “I’m a huge fan of the entire Housewives franchise,” she said. “But it was so glaringly obvious to me and I think the rest of the country that you can’t have a show about New York and not have a black woman’s lens represented … So for 12 years, that had been the case. I do think people were making efforts around it. I’m not sure as to why it never happened until now.”
Promising that RHONY Season 13 will be “unlike anything fans have seen” before, she explained that she won’t hesitate to bring up difficult topics on camera. “You know, of course, the obvious thing is I’m black. Eboni K. Williams, nice to meet you. Right? And we will have those conversations because they’re authentic,” she said. “Because they’re relevant. Because we can’t not have them, especially in this moment where our country is going through a racial revolution. And I think it’s overdue.”
Being the first Black Housewife in the franchise has to carry some weight with it, but Eboni refreshingly reveals that she’s simply looking to bring her authentic self to the show. “I call it a gracious responsibility because I am new to Housewives,” she explained. “I am new to Bravo. But I’m actually not new to being the first black woman in a space.”
She added, “I’m not very rainbows and sunshine and kumbaya. That’s just not my style.”
Adding cast members to the show that reflect more of the audience is something that Eboni feels will be great for RHONY, adding that it will only be good business for the network to make the necessary changes.
Bravo is currently in the process of shaking up The Real Housewives franchise and has committed to adding more diversity to the programs. In addition to Eboni K. Williams joining The Real Housewives of New York City, Crystal Kung Minkoff (pictured) was recently announced as a new cast member on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
“So when we talk — I talk about diversity and increasing opportunities for black people in this country specifically, it’s really not about like, ‘Oh, it’s the right thing to do…’ I don’t really think that argument works because if that were the case, if people were gonna do what was the right thing to do, it would’ve been done a long time ago,” she explained. “So the argument that I really stick to is it’s good for business. It is good for business to make the pie bigger. It is good for everybody’s bottom line to have an offering of content.”
She continued, “An offering of whatever it is, if it’s law, if it’s academia, if it’s finance and real estate, in this case, television, where more people get to see themselves and their experience is represented in a fuller way because it’s not displacing white people. It’s not like they kicked off all the white Housewives to bring me on.”
In an interesting tidbit, Eboni revealed that she had recently returned from a cast trip to Ramona Singer’s house in the Hamptons and that the drama was like “last year’s Hamptons trip times, at least one hundred.”
Eboni K. Williams seems to be a really bright and authentic person and if this interview is any indication, she really is going to shake up RHONY.
The Real Housewives of New York City will return to Bravo in 2021.