You always assume that at least a decent chunk of the drama on the Real Housewives franchise is because everyone knows that the camera is there. People want screentime, they want fans, they want gifs, and they know that stirring drama and acting out can get that for them.
But sometimes, those conflicts spill off of the show and even off of social media. And now the feud between two stars of The Real Housewives of Atlanta could be on its way to court.
Kim Zolciak is fuming at NeNe Leakes' recent comments, and it's enough that she's hired a lawyer. Oh, boy.
The long-standing (thought occasionally on-again, off-again) feud between NeNe Leakes and Kim Zolciak has been a real asset to The Real Housewives of Atlanta.
People don't tune in to reality television to watch people getting along and talking about having their pool installed. They want conflict.
We don't know that this says anything great about human nature, but peaceful coexistence is not entertainment.
Anyway, unfortunately, when it comes to reality shows, the line between what's just for show and what's personal can so often become blurred.
The most recent spat between these two Housewives revolves around what NeNe Leakes said about Brielle Biermann.
Quite frankly, you don't have to be Brielle's mother to feel that NeNe crossed the line.
Basically what happened was that Brielle has been a tangential part of her mom's feud with NeNe for a while.
We suppose that it's not uncommon for adult daughters -- Brielle is 20 years old and old enough to, you know, have opinions about her mom's frenemies.
In a video that Brielle recorded at NeNe's home, Brielle mentions what appears to be a roach infestation and shows footage of multiple dark beetles that appear to be roaches.
Let's be clear -- sometimes a few roaches can end up in someone's house, especially if there's a party where doors spend any amount of time being open. That's just how life works. It doesn't mean that the house is filthy or whatever.
And also, even extremely nice, clean homes can have infestations of multiple varieties. Sometimes it's just a matter of where your house is located and what creatures live there.
NeNe did not appreciate Brielle's video. At all.
She blasted Brielle Biermann in a public manner, telling her what to do with her appearance and calling her racist (a claim that NeNe has also made many times against Kim Zolciak).
Part of NeNe's message was especially creepy and gross:
"We don't have roaches! If you found 1, u brought it with u or it fell outta ur funky pussy!"
So Kim Zolciak apparently decided that enough was enough.
TMZ reports that the Don't Be Tardy star hired an attorney at a high-powered law firm and is threatening to sue NeNe Leakes for millions if she doesn't apologize to Kim and to her daughter.
Specifically, NeNe needs to apologize for calling them racist.
NeNe has made numerous comments on social media along these lines.
"Kim & her child did something very wrong & disgusting! Black people and roaches in the same sentence don't work for me boo."
(People of all races get bugs in their homes, NeNe)
NeNe has also said: "Kim & her daughter oops whole family are racists!"
In her rant against Brielle, NeNe included the tags "#racisttrash" and "#KKK."
A lot of people in this world are racist and might not even realize it, though NeNe doesn't seem eager to provide examples of racism (and also seems fine with Kim when they're getting along).
But the "KKK" line is either the worst use of hyperbole that we've seen in a while or a serious accusation that deserves either evidence for why she thinks that the Zolciak-Biermann women are in a racist terrorist organization or a very solemn apology.
Again, there are countless instances of real-world racism. It gets people killed and it makes them feel like outsiders in their own communities.
For NeNe to throw around the word at Kim because they don't get along, which is what appears to be happening, is unconscionable.
And if NeNe truly believes that they're racists, she should present to the world whatever it is that makes her think that.
This is all right on the heels of NeNe Leakes wishing her heckler would get raped and then later issuing a less-than-perfect apology for it.
Yes she was sorry, but she should not have said that in the first place.
We know that NeNe has become famous for being such a reality television firebrand and saying whatever pops into her head, but even she needs to learn to filter or she'll be doing a lot more apologizing in the future.
Or, if not apologizing, she just might end up paying for it -- literally.