Earlier this week, Vanderpump Rules stars Stassi Schroeder and Kristen Doute were fired from the show that made them famous – and that they in part made famous.
The women were canned amid allegations of racially-motivated harassment directed at a black co-star.
In a podcast interview, former Vanderpump cast member Faith Stowers recounted an incident in which Schroeder and Doute called the LAPD on her.
Falsely accusing her of drugging and robbing Los Angeles bar patrons, Stassi and Kristen were motivated in part by racism, Faith believes.
It was not the first time that the public was made aware of Stassi and Kristen’s actions, either.
Both have admitted, even boasted about calling the cops on Faith in interviews and on social media in the past.
This was the first time that Stowers got to tell her side of the story, however, and it resonated with the public.
And in light of her insights, as well as recent life in American cities, Bravo saw fit to cut ties with the two cast members.
As part of the network’s swift, yet long overdue reaction, two newcomers were also canned as a result of unrelated racist comments online.
“Bravo and Evolution Media confirmed today that Stassi Schroeder, Kristen Doute, Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni will not be returning to Vanderpump Rules," reads a statement issued by the company.
Stassi and Kristen have received some support online, primarily from Schroeder’s mother who launched a "Stand Up For Stassi" Instagram page, which includes links to a petition urging Bravo to rehire the women.
But for the most part, this has been viewed as a justified dismissal.
In fact, many believe the show has not done enough to correct its problematic past, and they would like to see additional steps taken to eliminate even more of the human garbage it employs.
Yes, some have called for Jax Taylor to be fired from the show.
And considering the fact that Taylor is guilty of the exact same misconduct as Schroeder and Doute, well …
… we’d say it’s rather shocking that this step has not yet taken place long before now, if not yesterday.
Others feel that even firing Taylor would not be enough to make amends for Vanderpump’s problematic past.
They feel that the only suitable recompense at this point would be the cancelation of Vanderpump Rules.
And given the show’s imminent decline and the current circumstances, that demand is far from unreasonable.
In addition to Doute and Schroeder, the show fired newcomers Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni this week.
The decision was a result of racist tweets posted by Boyens and offensive jokes that both men have admitted to.
Lisa Vanderpump has defended Max and Brett, and when the tweets first surfaced, she announced that she would continue to employ both men on her show and in her restaurants.
No word yet on whether or not she’s had a change of heart.
The former Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star and namesake of Vanderpump Rules has been strangely quiet throughout this scandal.
It’s further evidence that Lisa’s "ally" status deserves to be called into question, or at least placed under heavy scrutiny.
Not just because of her silence now, but her own past actions.
This is a woman who allowed her employees to bully Billie Lee, a trans woman who says the treatment that she received from the Vanderpump cast was so abhorrent that she felt she had no choice but to quit the show.
Now, Bravo execs – particularly the face of the network, Andy Cohen – find themselves in a bind.
Torn between loyalty to people like Lisa Vanderpump and their duty to the Black stars and viewers who have helped make the network so successful, Cohen has some tough choices to make.
NeNe Leakes, Reza Farahan and other people of color who have starred on Bravo shows have praised the steps that network took this week … and called for even more.
Kristen Doute was a loose cannon who probably deserved some kind of comeuppance like this. But there’s still more to be done, and the time to take action is now.
Real Housewives of Potomac star Candiace Dillard wrote on Instagram:
"This is a great step as well but I think it would be helpful to accompany these terminations with a thorough explanation as to why they were let go."
"Especially given the fact that their racial indiscretions took place months, and in some cases years ago and they were allowed to keep their jobs," she added.
"Having an honest conversation about why BRAVO is choosing not to associate with people who display implicit and explicit racial biases needs to be a part of the conversation if pop culture leaders (like my network) are going to help heal The wounds of racism in this country.”
Dilliard and others rightly feel that not enough has been done to right this wrong.
Meanwhile, the remaining stars of Vanderpump have mostly been burying their heads in the sand in the hope that this scandal will simply go away.
Probably wishful thinking on their part.
Obviously, some cast members are more poorly behaved than others, but it sure seems like this kind of thing was status quo on Pump for years.
It’s time for Bravo to send a message that such behavior will not be tolerated.
And the only way to do so is to cancel Vanderpump Rules.