Bravo fires Jennie Nguyen from The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City after discovery of racist posts

·3 min read

After an explosive backlash, Bravo has fired Salt Lake City Housewife Jennie Nguyen.

Last week, some racist posts that Nguyen had shared on her Facebook — which has since been deactivated — resurfaced, prompting criticism from fans as well as statements from some of her castmates and other Bravo stars. On Tuesday, the network tweeted a statement that it "has ceased filming with Jennie Nguyen and she will no longer be a cast member of [RHOSLC]." Nguyen was a new addition to the cast in its second season, which is currently airing; she had already begun filming the third.

Nguyen's posts had been disparaging of the Black Lives Matter movement. On Thursday, she posted an apology to her Instagram. "I want to acknowledge and apologize for my deleted Facebook posts from 2020 that resurfaced today. At the time, I thought I was speaking out against violence, but I have since learned how offensive and hurtful my words were," she wrote in an image shared to her grid, captioned with the hashtag #hateisavirus. "I regret those posts and am sincerely sorry for the pain they caused."

A rep for Nguyen did not immediately reply to EW's request for comment. In RHOSLC's second season, which is now nearing its conclusion, she has confronted her castmate Mary Cosby for the latter's references to Nguyen's "slanted eyes." Cosby has also been under fire due to allegations that her church, where she is a pastor, is a cult, and she skipped the end-of-season reunion taping. The season has also gained widespread attention for chronicling the fallout after Housewife Jen Shah was arrested by federal agents for charges of fraud and money laundering.


Chad Kirkland/Bravo

Bravo's statement announcing Nguyen's firing continues with a promise to take a closer look while vetting its reality talent: "Moving forward, we will work to improve our processes to ensure we make better informed and more thoughtful casting decisions."

In the past two years, the network — and its largely white lineup of Bravolebrities — has been undergoing a reckoning regarding its treatment of race. In the summer of 2020, as the BLM movement attracted sustained national attention following the murder of George Floyd, Bravo fired original Vanderpump Rules stars Stassi Schroeder and Kirsten Doute along with their newer castmates Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni when some of their past racist behavior came to light. Not long after, their controversial co-stars Jason "Jax Taylor" Cauchi and his wife Brittany Cartwright departed the show as well. A year later, Kelly Dodd (who defended her choice to wear a hat that read "Drunk Wives Matter," among other offenses) was axed from The Real Housewives of Orange County.

As Bravo has made moves to diversify its Real Housewives casts, its efforts have achieved varying degrees of success. Season 11 of Beverly Hills delivered some offensive or awkward scenes that ultimately yielded, in some cases, productive conversations. Meanwhile, in New York City's 13th season, which filmed during the 2020 election, new addition Eboni K. Williams tried to bring up meaningful topics with her more long-standing castmates; while some were receptive, others' responses ranged from hopelessly self-involved to blatantly racist — and prompted a fan outcry to fire franchise OG Ramona Singer (casting on the next season has not been confirmed, and the reunion was canceled). And then there's Dallas, which was put on hold indefinitely after its fifth season. Bravo did not provide an explicit reason why, but the behavior of some of the cast (and their husbands, and their brothers-in-law) toward freshman Housewife Dr. Tiffany Moon suggest deep dysfunction in the franchise's Texas entry.

Bravo's firing of Nguyen — herself a woman of color — and promise to reexamine its casting process is the latest step in the network's efforts to address racial insensitivity from its talent. What that means for some of its controversial but more established personalities remains to be seen.

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