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'RHOA' star Kenya Moore apologizes for 'disrespectful' Native American 'warrior princess' costume

·Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
·2 min read
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Kenya Moore is now apologizing for the "warrior princess" costume she wore on Sunday's episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. The 50-year-old reality star issued a statement on Tuesday after facing backlash for the Native American-themed look.

"I want to sincerely apologize for inappropriately wearing the Native American headdress as a costume," she wrote on social media. "I now realize that this was both disrespectful and insensitive and would never have done it if I had that knowledge and understanding beforehand. I regret it. When you know better, you do better. I am genuinely sorry."

Moore, who initially defended her Halloween outfit, faced criticism from IllumiNative, the Native-led nonprofit focused on raising visibility of Native issues and voices.

“We are deeply disturbed by the recent episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta, in which Kenya Moore wore a Native American 'warrior princess' costume. Costumes that mock Native peoples, defame our traditions and cultures, and perpetuate negative stereotypes are racist," a spokesperson told Yahoo Entertainment earlier on Tuesday. "'Playing Indian' is a form of mascotry that is not just offensive, it is part of a long history of how Native peoples have been dehumanized. Countless research studies show the harm these images, actions, and the normalization of these behaviors have on our youth. We also know the dehumanization and sexualization of Native women contributes to the crisis of murdered and missing Indigenous women."

The organization blasted those involved with production, from the bottom to the top.

"We are also incredibly concerned that none of the producers or executives at Bravo, Comcast, or NBC Universal intervened, although several cast members commented on how uncomfortable, unnecessary, and offensive the costume was on camera," the statement continued. "The series has had several instances of racism and offensive behavior and yet it seems no training, procedures, or standards have been sent to stop offensive acts, which go against the values Comcast professes to have. It is important that Bravo, Comcast, NBC Universal, Andy Cohen, and Kenya Moore apologize for the harm they have caused Native peoples and commit to ensuring offensive displays like this never happen again. Native people are not a costume."

Moore's co-stars took issue with her look during Sunday's episode.

"Kenya is a Native American warrior. I thought we weren't doing that no more," said Black Lives Matter activist Porsha Williams. "Like, I knew that this girl was crazy, but add lame to the list, add whack to the list."

Williams added during the RHOA After Show that Moore's costume was "head-to-toe cultural appropriation."

When Moore was called out on social media, she said in a now-deleted tweet the costume was "part of my heritage #RHOA."

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