Bravo has issued an apology for Sunday night’s episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta that showed Kenya Moore wearing a Native American headdress at a Halloween-themed party.
Moore described her costume as a “warrior princess” in the episode. But some viewers expressed outrage on social media, prompting the reality TV personality and Bravo to backtrack.
“Bravo aims to have the highest standards of respect and inclusivity and we recognize that the recent episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, in which a cast member wears a Native American costume, did not uphold those values. We had hoped it would provide a teachable moment, however in retrospect it is clear that the network did not address this properly given the gravity of the situation. We apologize to both the Native American community and our audience as a whole,” the cable network said in a statement.
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Meanwhile in her own statement Tuesday, Moore told Page Six she is “genuinely sorry.”
“I want to sincerely apologize for inappropriately wearing the Native American headdress as a costume,” she said. “I now realize that this was both disrespectful and insensitive and would never have done it if I had that knowledge and understanding beforehand. I regret it. When you know better, you do better. I am genuinely sorry.”
As soon as the episode aired, activists and social media users said the costume was “insensitive.”
@KendraJanaay tweeted: “Kenya Moore coming to a party dressed as a “Native American” is probably the most disgusting thing I’ve seen on Housewives since Monique Samuels did it a couple seasons ago. Do better. #RHOA Sincerely; an Indigenous African-American woman.”
@ohthatashleyy tweeted: “Kenya Moore is too grown to not know dressing as a Native American is offensive af.”
Nonprofit organization IllumiNative wrote on Instagram: “We are deeply disturbed by last night’s episode of #RHOA in which @thekenyamoore wore a Native American ‘warrior princess’ costume. Costumes that mock Native peoples, defame our traditions and cultures, and perpetuate negative stereotypes are racist. ‘Playing Indian’ is a form of mascotry that is not just offensive, it is part of a long history of how Native peoples have been dehumanized.”
During the after show, some of the RHOA cast members were asked what they thought of the costume.
Kandi Burruss defended Moore by saying, “I don’t think she was wearing the costume to mock anyone. I think she thought it was a beautiful costume.”
Watch the after show and clips of Moore’s costume below: