We’ve all heard about how Bravo star NeNe Leakes is refusing to film alongside Porsha Williams or Kenya Moore.
It seems like she doesn’t have any friends left on The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Producers have noticed, too.
So they’ve hired a new, friendly (for now) face to keep her company on camera: Gail ‘Yovanna’ Momplaisir.
Hollywood Life reports that Bravo has taken the extra step of adding a cast member for Season 12.
"Gail ‘Yovanna’ Momplaisir is going to join the cast of RHOA," an inside source shares with the tabloid.
The insider notes that the season of the long-running hit "is starting to filming [sic] in early June."
As we previously reported, Bravo bent over backwards to start filming as soon as they could in order to capture all of this feud drama.
The source reveals that Gail will be joining the cast "as a friend" of the Housewives.
"Everyone, including Nene, felt that Nene really needed someone in her corner and an alliance," the insider explains.
"So producers heard her," the source continues. "And now Gail will be joining the ladies."
NeNe, as you can see in the gallery below, is the highest paid Housewife in the franchise.
If she needs a new friend on camera to appease her, producers will pull out all the stops.
The insider notes that this is a casting choice "which Nene is really excited about."
"The two have been good friends for awhile," the source adds.
The addition of Gail isn’t the only change coming to the cast; Shemari DeVoe has received a demotion.
"Shemari has been downgraded to a friend status for now," the Housewives insider reveals.
"However," the source assures. "Producers have made it clear that that can change."
Reality TV isn’t usually run like a charity, so things like having a decent storyline to keep you relevant are vital if you want to stay on the show.
One storyline in particular may do the trick.
"She’s been trying to get pregnant for awhile now and even may be already," the insider suggests. "So that could really help swing in her favor."
Shemari already has two children: Ronald III and Roman Elijah.
Certain milestones like weddings, engagements, pregnancies, and divorces can be excellent ways to secure continued Housewife status.
But, as we’ve seen with Kenya Moore last season and in recent rumors about Vicki Gunvalson, nothing in this life is guaranteed.
This is certainly great news for Gail. Even just being a "friend" of the Housewives is a big deal, even if you were already friends in real life.
But some may say that this is a situation in which producers are rewarding NeNe’s bad behavior.
With reports claiming that she was refusing to film with her "enemies," some suggested that she should just be fired for not doing her job.
But Bravo tried that once, and ratings were a disaster. They’re clearly not willing to risk her storming off.
Hiring a new part-time star is a small price to pay, relatively speaking.
But we have to wonder: At what point does NeNe wield too much power over a show with an ensemble cast?