It is sadly no secret to those of us on social media that a certain sector of RHONY viewers strongly dislike Eboni K. Williams.
They’ll be the first to insist that it’s not because she’s the show’s first Black star, but essentially because she talks about who she is.
After multiple public smears and malicious stories about her, some fans insisted that Bravo made a mistake and should fire her.
Bravo is now affirming their continuing support for Eboni, who is doing exactly what they cast her to do: she’s being herself.
2020 saw historic civil rights protests — possibly the largest in human history. In many ways, it was a time of cultural shift.
However, since then, too many white Americans seem to be done pretending to actually care about Black lives and human rights.
Eboni K Williams, for "daring" to discuss who she is and how the world works, has received intense backlash from these viewers.
In response, Bravo released a statement to E! News making it clear that they’re not cowing to white fragility.
“Bravo invited Eboni K. Williams as the first Black woman to join the cast of The Real Housewives of New York," the statement began.
Eboni was hired "to be her authentic self, which has brought a new perspective to the show."
“We support Eboni in expressing her views," the network affirmed.
"And," the statement continued, "we are proud that the show is addressing these important and relevant issues.”
That was a brief but important statement of support, especially with some claiming that the network probably regretted hiring her.
Eboni K Williams herself followed up that statement with one of her own.
“It makes me feel really good to know that the network has taken the affirmative step to vocalize that support,” she began.
“I can tell you internally it’s been there the whole time," Eboni confirmed.
"But," Eboni explained, "I think the network sees and I see the vitriol that’s out there from various spaces."
"And I appreciate, deeply appreciate, them using the power of their platform and their voice," she stated.
Bravo is using their platform "to articulate that support in a way for viewers to kind of take some of that narrative …"
Eboni continued, describing a narrative "… that might have been out there around my attempt to hijack the show for personal agenda."
"Or," she continued, "some of the other crazy things I’ve heard and seen on social media."
Eboni is pleased that Bravo took this step "to just dispel all that, nip all of that in the bud.”
“I am still grateful to God that they saw fit to invite me as the first Black woman on this network," Eboni expressed.
"And in doing so, give me the space and the permission — not that I necessarily needed the permission, but they did give it," she added.
Eboni continued: "to bring all of who I am, my authentic experience and lens to this show."
"And to have them vocalize that support means the world to me,” Eboni stated.
As for those pitching a fit that Eboni dares to address the real world, she said that they’re "entitled to their preference."
Eboni remarked: “I guess my response to that is I can only be my authentic self, right?”
“I decided long ago when I was invited to join this cast and presented with this incredible opportunity," Eboni reasoned.
The opportunity "to be a part of this legendary franchise."
Eboni resolved "that I would only do it on the term of honoring my own authenticity."
"And," Eboni continued, "my authenticity is I am a Black woman."
She is a Black woman "with significant consciousness of my space in this world and society."
"And in addition to me being very aware of that," Eboni added, "this network was well aware of that.”
Eboni also offered a bit of a preview of what is to come.
“I have a personal, real emotional back half of this season," she shared.
It is a season "which I am thrilled to death that the world gets to see and go on this journey with me."
“And of course I’m talking about finding my father," Eboni illuminated.
"But I’m also really anxious about what emotions are going to stir up for me when I’m able to revisit that part of my life," she admitted.
"So," Eboni concluded thoughtfully, "I’m just really working on staying present and grounded this rest of the season.”