There used to be a time when viewers would tune into The Real Housewives of Orange County—or any Housewives franchise, for that matter—to see what outrageous remarks would be uttered next. Now personal politics are spoiling the fun of reality television. According to an in-depth story from VICE, Bravoholics are boycotting the show over one cast member's real-life behavior.
Kelly Dodd, 45, joined the show in 2016, and fans immediately loved to hate her. Vulgar language and confrontation are her signatures, and they were effective at causing juicy feuds with fellow cast members.
But while that normally amounts to ratings gold, her antics both on and off-screen have become increasingly problematic. Take an episode in season 11, when her attempt at "humor" was poorly received by former Housewife Heather Dubrow. "I said that I thought Heather would have a better sense of humor because she’s Jewish," Dodd wrote in a blog after the episode aired. "I meant it was a compliment, not an insult." And this past summer, a 2016 TMZ video resurfaced in which Dodd, who appears intoxicated, tells the camera, "I don't like Black guys. I don't even know any Black guys."
She sure does like Fox News, though! On October 10, she married the cable news channel's correspondent Rick Leventhal. And earlier this month she posted a photo from her bridal shower, in which she's seen wearing a "Drunk Wives Matter" hat. Alex Zaragoza, author of the VICE article, writes:
"After a wave of backlash, Dodd posted a clarification on Instagram, before deciding to go harder on Instagram Stories, explaining that the hat was a gift and 'people that can't get a joke, go fuck yourselves.' (She also dropped an 'all lives matter,' in case you were wondering where she stood on that front.)"
And in case you're wondering why no one at the shower is pictured wearing a mask, Dodd has some thoughts on that, too. In May, she posted a video on Instagram stories, incorrectly saying, "No one is wearing masks here in Orange County. Yup, because no one here is dying of the virus." (Fact: at the time, there were 131 recorded deaths in her region of Southern California.)
Now, Bravo stans are taking to multiple platforms to announce that they've had enough of Dodd and are boycotting the show. This includes superfan Instagram accounts like @bravoingtogether, @MainlyBravo, and @bravoomg, as well as Bravo-loving podcasts Mixing with Mani and Andy's Girls.
"I think as we're being pushed to hold people in power accountable, platforming racist white people for entertainment value is also supporting racism," said Ellen Brenchley, who runs @bravoingtogether with Kristina Overland. "For us, we do have a platform. We have over 15,000 followers. We don't want to platform that." She later added that she thinks Bravo will only hold Dodd accountable when it "hits their pocketbook."
Bravo did not respond to VICE for a request for comment. However, Andy Cohen, who serves as executive producer of the Real Housewives franchise, shared his personal thoughts on his Sirius XM show, Radio Andy.
"I think that her posts show how woefully uninformed we all are and what a horrible job that this administration has done to inform us about this disease," said Cohen. "And, concurrently, if you are going to Kelly Dodd for advice about what to do in the face of the coronavirus, there is a problem. I think that, you know, [you should] consult your doctor. Do some research. Maybe don’t consult your plastic surgeon."