The treatment of Brandi Glanville's allegation of a hookup with Denise Richards on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills speaks to a larger problem on The Real Housewives franchise, says Kyndall Cunningham. "Despite the fact that Real Housewives has practically become synonymous with gay culture in America over the past decade, the Bravo juggernaut has dealt with notable occurrences of homophobia and transphobia across different shows, usually rumors about a cast member’s husband’s sexuality if not spontaneous outbursts of gay panic," says Cunningham, who points to more "queerphobia" on Real Housewives of Orange County, Real Housewives of Atlanta and Real Housewives of Potomac. "While Real Housewives will never be a totally socially-conscious platform as long as the franchise portrays problematic, insensitive people—which most of these rich, oft-conservative women are—more work can be done by the producers to address the salacious treatment of queerness that has now become a show fixture (along with lying about housing situations and starting random singing careers)," says Cunningham. "It would be nice to see the producers who administer confessionals plus Andy Cohen, who hosts all the reunions, actually press the housewives about their motivations in speculating about cast members’ sexuality rather than encourage this tired sensationalism that, as the producers are seemingly starting to notice, leads nowhere."
TOPICS: The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Bravo, The Real Housewives of Atlanta, The Real Housewives of Orange County, The Real Housewives of Potomac, Andy Cohen, Brandi Glanville, Denise Richards, The Real Housewives Franchise, Reality TV