The racial reckoning sparked by the George Floyd protests has led to the firing of Vanderpump Rules' Stassi Schroeder and Kristen Doute, plus many other problematic reality stars who have become famous with their bad behavior. "Morally horrific people are the natural villains, engines, and DNA of reality TV," says Madeleine Davies. "While generally upstanding people can, of course, be entertaining to watch, there’s a prevailing thought that good seeds don’t last—at least, not without their evil foils. The genre has long been a celebration of disgusting human behavior and fans tune in largely for the schadenfreude of watching extremely flawed people humiliate themselves. So how do we reckon that with real-world issues and real-world consequences? The Vanderpump Rules firings coupled with Bravo’s sudden focus on the Black Lives Matter movement are, to be explicitly clear, needed and warranted. However, it all feels hollow when you consider the network’s history of programming. Even without Schroeder and Doute, the Vanderpump Rules cast remains riddled with problematic characters: Jax Taylor (one of the worst people in the history of... history?) was embroiled in a scandal along with (Brittany) Cartwright, now his wife, this very season because the pair enlisted an openly transphobic pastor to officiate their wedding." Davies adds: "Like all of entertainment, reality TV is a deeply flawed industry that’s tainted with the same white supremacy and patriarchal values that built the society we live in. But despite the genre being widely recognized as less than real, with stories and cast members manipulated by producers, it does effectively hold up a funhouse mirror to our world—a world in which white people call the police on black people over petty or perceived grievances, a world in which power structures (like Bravo) only change when their bottom financial line is challenged. So how does that world—and the real world (not to be confused with The Real World)—evolve? Start firing every problematic person on reality TV and, by nature of all people being problematic to varying degrees, you’d have no one left. Razing the entire genre is an option, but reality TV is cheap to produce and popular with viewers, so networks won’t be able to resist for long."