NeNe Leakes recently filed a lawsuit against Andy Cohen, NBCU, Bravo and the executives behind The Real Housewives of Atlanta alleging that discrimination and racism was tolerated during her 13 seasons on the show. Many have been wondering why she would take legal action now instead of when she was experiencing the alleged racism. In a recent chat with TMZ, Leakes said that this isn’t the first time she tried to take them to court.
“I felt like it was the right time [to file the lawsuit] a few years ago but I was constantly being retaliated against, being blacklisted [and] not being able to work, being silenced and so it was difficult to do,” she said.
She also claimed that while she was a cast member on RHOA, she experienced things like being called a white woman because she wore blonde hair.
Leakes, 54, also said she has been blacklisted since leaving RHOA and hasn’t gotten a new gig in three years.
“When all of a sudden you’re working and sought after then suddenly you’re not working, it’s being blacklisted,” she added. “I haven’t caused any problems on any sets. Everybody I’ve ever worked with I’ve had a great working relationship with except this group of people.”
She said that the goal of this lawsuit is to “stop discrimination against Black women.” Leakes is accusing Andy Cohen of facilitating a racist and hostile work environment and specifically turning a blind eye to alleged racist comments from former co-star Kim Zolciak-Biermann.
“From the day the series began filming, NeNe was the target of systemic racism from co-star Kim Zolciak-Biermann, which was tolerated by Bravo executive producer Andy Cohen and other executives,” Leakes’ lawyer David deRubertis said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
Regarding her exit from the show, the lawsuit stated that “NBC, Bravo, and True forced [Leakes] out of the ‘house she built,’ denying her a regular role.”