Kandi Burruss discusses what went down behind the scenes with her Real Housewives of Atlanta castmates, especially Porsha Williams, after she reached out to Bravo regarding the changes she wanted to see at the network involving race.
In the summer of 2020, during the height of the racial injustice protests and following the firings of several popular Bravo stars due to racially insensitive actions and comments, Bravo decided it was time to stream conversations on the important subject on their website and Instagram. When Kandi got wind of the project, she reached out to the network via email and requested any special be featured on prime time television in order to reach a wider audience. She also asked for Bravolebrities to be featured in the special.
“We always say Bravolebrities,” Kandi told Vulture. “Those are our friends in our heads. So what I was saying to Shari [an executive] is if people have the opportunity to hear their friends in their heads say, ‘Yeah, we even deal with these situations,’ then it’ll help them look at it differently.”
Kandi said the network was very receptive and quickly got to work on Race in America: A Movement Not a Moment and Race in America: Our Vote Counts.
“It happened quick,” Kandi revealed. “It wasn’t like she twiddled her fingers and just blew smoke up my a**.”
Kandi also requested that Bravo work with Black-owned production companies and hire more interns from historically Black universities.
“Not any of the people that I’ve had any experience with at Bravo are racist or come off as racist to me,” Kandi explained. “But if you don’t have enough African Americans around you that are also in your ears saying, ‘Oh, this will be a great idea,’ you’re just not informed.”
Nevertheless, once Kandi shared the contents of the email she sent the network with her castmates, including Porsha, Tanya Sam, and Marlo Hampton, she was shocked by their reaction. As it turns out, they were annoyed with Kandi for reaching out to executives without discussing it with them first, which really upset the songwriter. She was especially bothered that Porsha wasn’t supportive since the Dish Nation host had been so active in the BLM movement.
“They say they were upset because I did not include them,” Kandi shared. “But we all have our way that we’re helping with the movement.”
Their disagreement was ultimately leaked to the press and Kandi confronted Porsha about the situation in front of the cameras, but the scene was cut from the show. However, Kenya Moore has publicly discussed the incident a couple of times, and she accused Porsha of begging producers to cut the footage. Kenya has also alleged that Porsha is involved in the BLM movement for selfish reasons and that she’s bothered by Kandi’s own progress in the movement.
A Bravo staffer, who asked to remain anonymous, said the dispute is likely more about a power struggle between the ladies.
“There are power plays, and people sort of get collateral based on them having contact with executives,” the staffer claimed. “I think the different ways in which you assess your success being on a reality show evolve over time. People have different measuring sticks, and that may have become one of them.”
Meanwhile, during an April 15 Instagram Live, Porsha addressed Kandi’s interview with Vulture and defended her part in the situation, but she did admit that she asked for the scene to be cut.
“They say there is a scene that was deleted, edited out, or not aired on Bravo because I asked for it to be taken out,” she said. “We know that a lot of Housewives — they have power over the years and they may be able to go ask the heads to take it out, right? It is what it is! I have worked very hard to get where I am in life, I’ve worked very hard on this show, and if I’ve gotten to a place where I can call the execs up and get something taken out, so be it!”
She went on to describe the scene in question and claimed she and Kandi were having a productive conversation, but it turned into an argument once Kenya joined the conversation. Porsha said she wanted it removed because it wasn’t a good look.
“At that moment I decide this isn’t a good look. We as Black women should not be arguing on this show about Black Lives Matter,” she declared. “That is not what we need to do. I know we have done things in the past that other Black women have said, ‘You shouldn’t do this, you shouldn’t do that.’ But to me, I register that as real life. If you have real life drama with a woman, you have real life drama. However, when it comes to Black Lives Matter, I have a certain responsibility.”
The Real Housewives of Atlanta season 11 airs Sunday nights on Bravo at 8/7c.
Photos Credit: Charles Sykes/Bravo