New cast member Eboni K. Williams confronted Ramona Singer about her language on Tuesday’s The Real Housewives of New York City. Williams is the series' first Black cast member and has already made headlines for wearing a Black Lives Matter mask and Central Park Five sweatshirt in her debut. In this episode, she addressed Singer’s use of the word “help” when referring to her white hospitality director.
“The 'help' comment was a little triggering for me,” Williams told Singer. “My grandma worked her whole life as a domestic. So you know why 'the help' is not, like, the best way to refer to somebody.”
Even though Singer's hospitality director happened to be white, the term has often been used to refer to Black domestics. So Williams gave Singer an opportunity to explain why she uses the term.
"I hire people to help me, so to me she helps me," Singer explained.
Williams accepted Ramona’s explanation, but also used the situation as a teachable moment.
“That's like a literal interpretation, so I see where that could possibly make sense,” Williams admitted. “So you're using it literal. I get it. I think historically in our country, right? ‘The help’ can make people feel maybe devalued.”
Viewers appreciated Eboni’s patience in the matter, and Ramona appreciated the mature way she communicated her feelings.
“I love the fact that Eboni, in a non-condescending way, is explaining to me the reason why that word isn't cool,” Singer said afterwards. “I get it. I'm not stupid, but sometimes I have a slip of the tongue.”
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