Lisa Vanderpump understands why three original cast members were axed from Vanderpump Rules but insinuated the punishment might not fit the crime.
The reality star and producer was a guest on Dear Media’s The Skinny Confidential Him & Her podcast where she reflected on last year’s scandal that saw Stassi Schroeder, Kristen Doute and Jax Taylor depart the popular show.
“I don’t like this cancel culture,” Vanderpump admitted on Monday’s episode. “I do think sometimes people should be punished… and actions do have consequences, but I think people can grow from their mistakes. I really do.”
Bravo announced in June Schroeder and Doute would not return for Season 9 after a racially charged incident with former co-star, Faith Stowers, resurfaced. Six months later, Taylor and his wife, Brittany Cartwright, revealed they were also leaving the show.
Vanderpump told Dear Media podcast hosts Lauryn Evarts and Michael Bosstick she understands why people were upset over what happened but said people can mature.
“I think reality television is quite a good place to learn to see the growth in — I mean, look at [Vanderpump Rules star] James Kennedy,” she said. “[He] was a complete nightmare… but you see him making progress and I think seeing progress in youngsters is a wonder.”
Schroeder was arguably the most popular and successful star to breakout from Vanderpump Rules. She has publicly and repeatedly apologized. Her firing was a shock, even to Stowers, but Vanderpump noted that “there was a lack of awareness with Stassi.”
“I think she lived in her own bubble,” Schroeder’s former boss said. “And again, Bravo did what they had to do at the time. I think everything was so inflamed at that time, but it was an accumulation of things she’d done as well. It wasn’t just one remark.”
Vanderpump noted other offenses, like when Schroeder faced backlash for calling an outfit “Nazi chic.”
“My family lived through World War II,” the former Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star said. “There’s so much history. You can’t be cavalier just because you’re young and unaware.”
Schroeder and Doute called the cops years ago after they read an article about a Black woman who was drugging and robbing people. They suggested the suspect might be Stowers. Schroeder later boasted about playing detective during a 2018 podcast interview, which resurfaced last year amid the Black Lives Matter movement.
Vanderpump said she “never heard that podcast” and was only made aware of the ordeal when it resurfaced last year. However, she’s adamant that her staff is not racist.
“In their defense — it wasn’t right what they did at all — but do I think they’re racist? A thousand percent not,” she said. “Because I have… a lot of diverse people working for me that they have all been very close to over the years. So do I think it was a racist action? Not at all. I just think it was just awful timing and stupid and ignorant and, yeah, it is what it is.”
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