Anyone Else Bothered By RHOA Cast Calling Each Other “Thugs,” “Gorillas” And “Queens” In Ep. 14?

February 11, 2014  |  

As entertained as I was by all that went down on Sunday night’s episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta, there were a few moments during the show that left a bad taste in my mouth–and no, it had nothing to do with the usually composed Kandi threatening to “drag” Cynthia’s sister, Malorie. I know that when we’re angry we often say things that we don’t mean or just say things that we’re not even thinking about before we spew them, but I couldn’t help but notice that on more than one occasion, the ladies (and Brandon DeShazer) referred to one another in some derogatory terms that were a bit too ugly for my liking.

After the Pillow Talk party from hell, everyone returned to their homes to talk about the behavior of their fellow cast members. It was gossip time. But in almost every scene (except for Kandi’s rundown of events to her friend Carmon), someone was either referred to as a common criminal, an animal, or…well, flat out, a “queen.” When referring to Kandi’s anger at being pushed by Malorie, Cynthia set things off by saying that Kandi acted like a “thug,” taking it a step further to say, “It was as if her body was possessed by a street thug or something.”


That’s exactly what I thought to myself as I started to feel a little uncomfortable with her use of the word and Cynthia’s exaggerated impression of Kandi–but I tried to let it go. Then on went NeNe in her confessional, repeatedly referring to DeShazer as a “queen,” and in a manner as to question his masculinity, even calling him “girlfriend in red” as she blamed him for the big fight. To make matters worse, in Kenya’s kitchen, both the former Miss America and her assistant said that Apollo Nida had behaved like a “gorilla” when he attacked Brandon, with DeShazer pounding his arms on the table at one point to drive the point home. Granted, I get that they might have meant that he pounded on top of DeShazer like a gorilla, but as black folks, they should know better. At that point, I was too through.

I asked you all on Twitter what you thought of their derogatory remarks during live tweeting, and many of you agreed that they were all out of line:

@MadameNoire yep. Self affirming statements used by the “majority” then we get mad when they do the same. Smdh

@MadameNoire extremely uncomfortable, especially coming from POC.

First of all they all needed to take several seats on using any of those words because they know better! #RHOA

Writer Xem VanAdams agreed, specifically calling out NeNe for thinking her “queen” comments were appropriate:

While some of US may use ‘Queen/Kween’ as a term of endearment when engaging amongst one another, Nene used the word on national television to defame the character of another gay man of color. Nene has spent the past five seasons, publicly praising her love for ‘the gays’; a watered down expression that diminishes the role of gay men as nothing more than accessories to her ‘fabulous’ life.

Even Brandon DeShazer and Kenya tried to comment on it with DeShazer saying on Twitter to NeNe, “Despite your words, I was born a man, raised a man and chosen as a man. IM ALL MAN! #FACT.”

Kenya also went on Watch What Happens Live to say, “It was disgusting to watch someone that’s built her entire career off of copying gay men’s lingo… for her to make defamatory and humiliating remarks. I think it was uncalled for and it’s no place to gay bash.”

But really, as with all the Real Housewives of Atlanta cast members in general, where is the accountability for their own ugly comments? As usual, the grown people on this show have nothing to say for themselves and their behavior, but point fingers at someone else to deflect from their choices. It’s tired at this point.

As I said, I know people say ugly things they don’t mean when they’re upset, but as people of color on television, and in everyday life in general, we all need to watch our mouths, especially when it comes to the words we use that demean our own people. Just as the n-word is a no-no that we unfortunately have to keep debating, these words are not a good look at all. Why refer to one another as “thugs” when that’s just exactly the terminology thrown at young men and women of color by the mainstream when they don’t want to get caught dropping the n-word? Why is NeNe calling a gay man a “queen” as a straight woman? And I’m so tired of hearing us refer to one another as monkeys (something I’ve also watched K. Michelle and Chris Brown do in front of thousands of followers on Instagram and Twitter), whether in appearance or in behavior. Clearly we’ve all gotten a little too comfortable.

What you do in the privacy of your home is your own business and no one else knows or has to hear it. But when you get online or on TV or out in public and refer to one another as these things, you give the impression that it’s okay. If we can’t respect one another when we speak, how can we expect other people to treat us right? Everyone on this show needs to own up to their bad behavior not only with what happened at the Pillow Talk event, but what came out of their mouths after the fact. Bravo might eat this stuff up, but I wanted to throw up at the ignorance of it all.

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