NeNe Leakes has filed a lawsuit against the companies behind The Real Housewives of Atlanta alleging racism and a problematic workplace culture.
The lawsuit was filed Wednesday against NBCUniversal, Bravo, production companies True Entertainment and Truly Original, and Housewives executive producer Andy Cohen, according to The Associated Press.
“NBC, Bravo and True foster a corporate and workplace culture in which racially-insensitive and inappropriate behavior is tolerated – if not, encouraged,” the suit says.
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Leakes, 54, who spent seven seasons on RHOA between 2008 and 2020, alleges she experienced racially offensive behavior from the moment she started working on the reality show.
The entertainment personality, whose legal name is Linnethia Monique Leakes, refers to moments between her then co-star Kim Zolciak-Biermann, who is white. The suit says Zolciak-Biermann used the N-word to refer to Leakes and other housewives after a fight. It also alleges Zolciak-Biermann falsely implied that Leakes used drugs and called her home a “roach nest.”
The lawsuit says that even though Leakes complained for years to executives, they did nothing to put an end to this type of behavior, even when the Black Lives Matter movement swept our nation.
“From the day the series began filming, NeNe was the target of systemic racism from co-star Kim Zolciak-Biermann, which was tolerated by Bravo executive producer Andy Cohen and other executives,” Leakes’ lawyer David deRubertis said in a statement.
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The lawsuit claims that these actions violate federal employment and anti-discrimination law. It also alleges Leakes’ complaints of racism contributed to her being forced off the show in 2020.
The Associated Press reached out to NBCUniversal for comment and they declined. Emails sent to representatives for the other defendants and Zolciak-Biermann were not immediately returned.