Reality star NeNe Leakes has filed a lawsuit against the people and companies responsible for producing the hit series Real Housewives Of Atlanta. According to the Associated Press, the lawsuit was filed on Wednesday (April 20.) In the legal action, she claimed the show was a racist and hostile environment, citing years of racist remarks from fellow housewife Kim Zolciak-Biermann. The comments allegedly made never resulted in consequences for Zolciak-Biermann, only Leakes.
Although she is the source of the alleged racism, Zolciak-Bierman is not named in the suit. The 54-year-old has listed NBCUniversal, Bravo, production companies True Entertainment and Truly Original, executives from the companies, and Housewives executive producer Andy Cohen, as defendants. In her lawsuit, Leakes, who was a star of the series, claimed the complaints of racism ultimately led to her being forced off the show in 2020 ahead of the 13th season.
“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 expressed in a statement according to the news outlet.
Leakes lists instances where Zolciak-Biermann allegedly made racist remarks on RHOA without pushback from the network and producers, dating all the way back to the series’ first season, which aired in 2008. In her allegations, Leakes claimed Zolciak-Biermann made remarks such as “I don’t want to sit around with NeNe and eat chicken,” calling fellow housewife star Kandi Burruss’ home “ghetto” and even referring to Leakes and other cast members using the N-word.
According to the lawsuit, Leakes complained to executives however, those in charge “did not terminate their relationship with Zolciak-Biermann, nor take any other meaningful action to put an end to her racially-offensive behavior.”
“NBC, Bravo, and True foster a corporate and workplace culture in which racially-insensitive and inappropriate behavior is tolerated—if not, encouraged,” said the suit Associated Press reported.
The lawsuit notes that when Leakes was allegedly forced off of the show, she vocally supported the Black Lives Matter movement as civil action across the country elevated to historical heights.
“As the Black Lives Matter movement swept our nation, Mrs. Leakes—Bravo’s historically most successful Black female talent—should have been embraced by NBC, Bravo, and True,” the suit claimed. “Instead, NBC, Bravo, and True forced her out of the ‘house she built,’ denying her a regular role.
Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Atlanta Season 14 is set to premiere on Sunday, May 1st at 8 p.m. ET/PT with a leading cast of all Black women. Returning housewives are Kandi Burruss, Kenya Moore, Shereé Whitfield, and Drew Sidora. Former special guest Marlo Hampton now holds a peach of her own as a main castmate this season. Additionally, Sanya Richards-Ross joins as a four-time Gold Medal Olympian, mother, wife, and businesswoman.
The Real Housewives of Atlanta is produced by Truly Original with Steven Weinstock, Glenda Hersh, Lauren Eskelin, Lorraine Haughton-Lawson, Eric Fuller, Joye Chin, Julie “Bob” Lombardi, and Tom Ciaccio serving as Executive Producers. Lizzie Spratt, James Brangert, and Morris Thorpe serve as Co-Executive Producers. Andy Cohen also serves as an Executive Producer.