Another day, another cancellation. You’re probably wondering what I’m talking about. Well, if you aren’t a BravoTV viewer, or follow my Twitter you probably won’t have knowledge of this subject matter. Let me get you up to speed.
When the Vanderpump Rules trailer and cast information were released for its current season, someone did a deep dive into two new cast member’s Twitter history. I briefly touched on this in another blog. The cast members in question are Max and Brett. Some 8-10 years ago both young men (one around 19 and the other 21) made tweets using the n-word among other insensitive comments about other people. Fans, especially the ones who claim Lisa Vanderpump is the worst and they hate her, used this as their golden opportunity to pounce and attack. Many tweeted that the the show should fire the two men because they are racists and that if it didn’t happen, it simply meant Lisa Vanderpump is a racist. I can’t even. When I saw all this happening, I shared my bits to my followers. This was also during the time when I was very vocal about labeling the situation on The Real Housewives of Dallas as racist, not what was revealed on January 2nd.
I recall saying that if people want to cancel these two men, then they should be calling for Stassi to be cancelled for her indiscretions, just three years ago when she was 27 and after she turned 28. Who told me to even say that about their favourite? People said I defending what Max and Brett, which couldn’t be further from the truth. My position has never shifted; either you stand for equal treatment of similar negative offenses or shut the f^ck up.
Stassi went on her podcast in March 2017 and shared with her listeners that although she was the last person to speak on any issue related to race, she was still going to say what she wanted. She said, and I’m paraphrasing here, that when she watches award shows, she doesn’t need speeches to be talking about things like politics or social issues, like Black representation in film. She couldn’t understand why it was “always” Black people speaking out about unfair treatment and representation and it’s almost as if Black people wanted a hand out. Ariana was one the people who called her out when that episode went up. (This came up again on the show’s sixth season when Ariana mentioned it to Billie). She also made some really ignorant comments about the Me Too Movement. She came under a well earned firestorm as well as lose some sponsorship. If my memory serves correct, the sponsorships lost weren’t over her comments made in March 2017 about Black people and the Oscars but based on her comments on the Me Too Movement in November 2017. She went on interviews like Watch What Happens Live, on December 4, 2017, where an Andy Cohen asked her about her controversial comments. She admitted then she had to lock herself away in her apartment and read as much as she could because she really wasn’t well equipped with any knowledge on the issues she spoke about. She wrote a letter, offering her apology and was even thankful that her fans just wanted her to acknowledge her error, apologize and (hopefully) grow. In fact, some of the people who I saw (see) calling for Max and Brett to lose their jobs, helped Stassi to attain even more celebrity by giving her a New York Times Bestseller last year.
In that same 2017, season 6 centred around Jax cheating on Brittany with a cast member we were introduced to in season 4. This cast member was Faith Stowers. Faith was the first and only black cast member that was heavily featured on the show, though she had no confessionals nor was invited to the reunion. She didn’t really have much of a storyline nor got into any issues with anyone from what was shown. So based on that, I get it. The other two Black employees we saw on the show a few times were Tina, who hooked up/had a fling with Tom Sandoval and sang at Scheana’s wedding and Richardson, one of the managers at either TomTom or PUMP. Neither expressed much interest in sharing their lives on camera. Anyways, when the whole cheating thing came about, Faith was ostracised by the cast which started a domino effect. Stassi and Kristen, who we’ve come to know over the years, are relentless in their pursuit of revenge. This saw them trying every means necessary to ruin Faith’s life during the season, off camera, and well into 2018. They did something completely tone deaf, this group in general is, by calling the police on Faith to have her arrested for crimes she didn’t commit. All this was because she slept with Jax. Mind you, Jax was also on Twitter, falsely accusing Faith of same. What they did, given our climate for the past 8 years, was gross and should be called out. They didn’t see anything wrong with what they did because they laughed about it. This we saw on the recent season where a prank was played on Tom Sandoval, getting arrested and thrown in the back of a police car. Katie and Ariana didn’t find it funny and Katie commented that it was extremely tone deaf because of what that means to other people in America (and the world). Her husband, Tom Schwartz, even said to her that she shouldn’t be social justice warrior. I do not know Faith and I am in her corner. However, I haven’t seen her call any of the two girls a racist, even after what they did. I could be wrong. Could it be that, from what we’ve seen, that they’re just vindictive and would stop at nothing until they punish their target, regardless of race? We saw this with their treatment of James. Could it be that they are so comfortable in their bubble that they didn’t think about what calling the police on a Black woman in the US might mean, especially when they had no concrete proof of their allegations?
Now, I am of the belief that if someone shows contrition for a past negative behaviour and hasn’t had any reoccurrence, then we should acknowledge it and believe they have changed. We’d want the same for ourselves. Like I had said to some Twitter users, Max and Brett made their mistake almost a decade ago (something I’ve come to realise is quite common amoung young white people, others just didn’t post it on the internet years ago) and we haven’t seen anything from them publicly like that since. Doesn’t that mean, at least from what is accessible, that they did grow? Isn’t that what we want people to do? They have not tried defending their actions. They apologised immediately when the tweets were brought to light and have even been out in the streets of LA protesting against police brutality. The Twitter users exclaimed that the men shouldn’t be given a platform nor work at LVP’s restaurants. They should be banished to some grocery store, packing shelves. To which I said, if the tweets are to be held over their heads almost a decade later and they lose their jobs in the restaurant and on the show, with there being no sign of a reoccurrence since those tweets, then they shouldn’t be able to work anywhere.
I think the users said to me that they don’t care as long a they’re not on tv or something to that effect. I found this funny because some of them basically told me they love Stassi and she apologised. Others said she simply made a mistake and we’ve known her for longer than Max and Brett. Some are staunch supporters of she-who-shall-not-be-named (41 at the time), who said that Joyce Giraud (cast member on season 4 of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills) couldn’t swim because she was a black person. They are even excited to see her on this season of the aforementioned show. Sure she-who-shall-not-be-named offered a flimsy apology after she was called out when the episode aired, this was after first defending it. However, it’s been 7 years since season 4 first aired and the fans obviously haven’t cancelled her. Will they call for her being cancelled because some popular or verified account talk about it, after it resurfaces? The answer is yes, at least some will. You want to know why? They don’t want to be seen as hypocrites to the people who follow them. Even if they don’t believe it. Let’s face it, people can do whatever they want behind an account and express their true feelings amongst their peers.
Lisa Vanderpump said on the reunion that she believes Max and Brett are regretful of ever using the n-word and she hasn’t seen anything from them that would indicate they are the same people from 8 years ago. I agree with her that if she fired everyone for an indiscretion, she’d have no employees. This does not mean she agrees with what was done 8 years ago by two people she didn’t know, nor does it mean it’s her duty to accept an apology (she hasn’t said that) . What this means, is that she is willing to give others a second chance, a chance that many in this cancel culture don’t seem to have any interest in. None of us is perfect and some of you should only be too happy that your f^ck ups weren’t documented. As expected, many have said she is defending them and are using it as a means of their continued hate. Yet you see them tweeting and retweeting posts about she-who-shall-not-be-named and have now just started posting about Stassi and Kristen because it’s on trend. Keep your fake advocacy. We don’t need it. This is not some trend to jump on.
It can’t be that we are going to cancel people and have no interest in their growth. Then, what’s the point? Cancel, just because it’s trendy? What do you really believe? I mean, some of you gave me hell for saying that you should be fair in your cancellations. I have never been a fan of Stassi’s but should she, Kristen, Max, Brett and anyone else who has f^cked up lose any livelihood, each time this resurfaces…because it won’t go away. See my point? Stassi and Kristen should 100% apologise to Faith for what they did because it could’ve gone differently, especially since this is the first time they’re being held accountable for that. But how long are you going to cancel them for? Are you interested in seeing their growth? What do you truly stand for? Stand for what’s fair, favourites be damned. Both ladies need to be as loud with their apology to Faith as they were when they attempted to ruin her life. I propose they both do a video chat with Faith, have her explain to them what it did to her when they called the cops and military and for them to verbalise their apology to her and for us to see.