In the spellbinding finale to the most recent season of Real Housewives of Dallas, the entiriy of the cast condemned the show’s villain, LeeAnn Locken, for her racist and xenophobic behavior throughout the season.
As we reported before, earlier in the season, Locken had a total meltdown when fellow castmates D’Andra Simmons and Kary Brittingham (who is Mexican) poked fun at the entrepreneur venture she spent so much time and money on: the L’Infinity dress. At a group dinner, Simmons and Brittingham publicly criticized the dress, insinuating that it was shoddily made and too complicated to wear. While Locken originally tried to brush off the teasing, she eventually snapped, leaving the table in tears.
Later, when she was being comforted by housewife Stephanie Hollman, is when she began to insult Brittingham based off her heritage.
Locken began her insults by accusing Brittingham of thinking she was “all Mexican and strong,” while really, she “ain’t survived s—”. As the season progressed, Locken continued to harp on Brittingham’s heritage, calling her everything from a “chirpy Mexican” to saying that she should “quit using my English words against me” and “find your own Mexican words.”
Locken’s racist and xenophobic behavior made waves on social media, with people Tweeting out their outrage at Locken’s offensive words. Some fans even created a petition on MoveOn.org demanding that Locken be terminated from the show. “I will not watch Bravo moving forward because they are supporting racism by not terminating her,” said a viewer by the name of Lisa A. “Bravo is perpetuating racism by not dealing with her.”
And while Locken apologized for her behavior this past season via a public statement, fans and viewers were still not having it.
Even Locken’s castmates were visibly put-off, expressing their “shame”, “disgust”, and “disappointment” at her behavior at the reunion.
Cast-member Brandi Redmond was one of the most vocal detractors of Locken’s behavior. “I don’t want to be associated. I feel ashamed,” she said. “And it’s not OK, LeeAnne. It’s not OK.”
Locken, for her part, vacillated between defending her actions and apologizing for them. When being interviewed by host Andy Cohen about her choice of words, Locken explained that she didn’t know what she was saying was offensive.
“In Texas, I mean, we use that word all the time, like, for everything,” she said. “Chirpy Mexican?” Cohen further prodded, to which Locken conceded wasn’t true. “No, not that,” she said. “Okay, I apologize…I didn’t use my words well and I didn’t like it when I watched it, I can tell you that. Mentally, I was not present and I was not putting my words together well”.
Locken went on to insist that, despite her actions, she was not, in any way, racist.
“I’ve spent a lot of hours crying over this and realizing how horrible this was,” she told Cohen. “I know every bone in my body, and I know I don’t have a single bone that believes in discrimination. I believe in inclusion. I believe in acceptance,” she said.
Previously, she had tried to explain her “free love” mindset by illustrating that she couldn’t be racist due to her sexual history. “I’ve slept with plenty of Mexicans, by the way. Hot, f—— lovers, okay? I’ve sat in Julio Iglesias’ lap,” she said in a problematic confessional interview during the course of the season.
To make matters worse, Cohen revealed that most of the cast members assumed Locken’s behavior would never make it to air.
According to Cohen. most of the cast-members assumed that Bravo would edit out Locken’s racist tirades in order to protect not only Locken, but the larger Bravo brand. Because of that, the RHOD cast avoided talking to Brittingham about what was going on behind her back.
Obviously, the entire situation left Brittingham feeling hurt and isolated. According to her, the experience was “very sad” and “disappointing” for her. We doubt these women will ever be able to mend their friendship.
Like every Real Housewives reunion, Twitter was on fire with reactions to the explosive season finale.
One thing’s for sure: The Real Housewives of Dallas has found a way to combine the intoxicating pull of reality television with the more serious issues of the day (namely, American discrimination against Latinos).
This person had no time for Locken’s labeling her behavior as a “mistake”
She has a good point here. Locken’s continuous behavior is proof of deeper discriminatory beliefs.
This person explained why continuously bringing up someone’s country of origin is, indeed, problematic.
It’s one thing not to get along with someone. It’s another to use their ethnicity as an insult.
This person applauded Andy Cohen for refusing to let Locken’s behavior slide.
Although Bravo could’ve handled the entire situation better, at least they’re holding Locken responsible for her words and actions.