NeNe Leakes, a former star of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, filed a lawsuit against the show’s producers, alleging that they fostered and tolerated a hostile and racist work environment.
According to The Associated Press, Leakes complained to show executives about racist remarks from white castmate Kim Zolciak-Bierman. Instead of action against Zolciak-Bierman, Leakes was punished. The lawsuit names NBCUniversal, Bravo, True Entertainment, and Truly Original as companies. Show executive producer Andy Cohen is also named.
“NBC, Bravo and True foster a corporate and workplace culture in which racially-insensitive and inappropriate behavior is tolerated – if not, encouraged,” the suit reads.
In the suit, Zolciak-Bierman stated “words to the effect of: ‘I don’t want to sit around with NeNe and eat chicken” when a scene was set to be at a barbecue. In season five, Zolciak-Bierman would refer to Kandi Burruss neighborhood as “ghetto” and suggested Burruss did not need a swimming pool. She also allegedly used the N-word in reference to Leakes, while also referring to her home as a “roach nest” and spreading false rumors of drug abuse.
“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,” part of the suit reads. “Instead, NBC, Bravo, and True forced her out of the ‘house she built,’ denying her a regular role.”
Zolciak-Bierman was not included in the suit. Leakes had a seven-season run on RHOA.