In an in-depth interview with Tamron Hall, NeNe Leakes offered public insight into her departure from “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.” According to the veteran reality star, she was not fired from the series. Instead, she decided to leave when it became clear that they were trying to force her out. For season thirteen of the series, producers only asked Leakes to appear in a handful of episodes.
“They offered six episodes,” said the reality star before sharing that she would typically appear in “18 to 23” episodes per season. “My salary would not be reduced.”
Despite the fact that they were offering the same amount of pay for significantly less work, Leakes says that the offer was a part of the network’s long-running scheme to phase her out.
“Basically, what happened is over the past four years I have felt very forced out. I have felt my role was being diminished. Every year they would give me less and less and less episodes. And every year, people would say, ‘Nene’s holding out…’ It wasn’t me that was holding out. I was just trying to understand why I was being given less and less and less every season from a show that I helped to become successful.”
Love her or hate her, there’s no denying that Leakes helped to make “Real Housewives of Atlanta” the household name that it is today. As for why they would want to phase her out, considering her longstanding status on the series’ cast, NeNe chose not to disclose that information.
“That’s something I can’t speak on, but there were things happening behind the scenes,” she said.
As for her allegations of systemic racism at Bravo, NeNe explained that she was one of the only Black original Housewives and she was treated much differently in comparison to her white counterparts with comparable seniority. And while she says that she hopes not to have to pursue legal action against the network, she didn’t completely shut down the idea.
“I hope that we don’t have to go to that extent. I’m hoping that there will be some sort of sit-down and something that we can work out behind the scenes. I’ve worked with these people for many years. I’ve loved them like they were my own family members. Sometimes, when people are watching these shows, you’re only seeing what’s happening on the surface and not really things that are happening behind the scenes,” NeNe said becoming emotional.
Check out her full interview below