This ‘Summer House’ Situation Is Extremely Disappointing
As a Bravo superfan, I’m no stranger to scandal surrounding the network’s stars. One of the most explosive controversies-slash-cast shakeups came last summer to Vanderpump Rules—a Real Housewives of Beverly Hills spinoff that, since its premiere in 2013, has pretty consistently reigned supreme as one of Bravo’s most successful franchises.
But in June, it came to light that castmembers Stassi Schroeder and Kristen Doute had racially profiled Black castmate Faith Stowers, falsely accusing her of a crime she hadn’t committed and calling police on her. (They’d both bragged about the situation, on the record, in podcast interviews.) Schroeder and Doute were fired from the show, along with newbies Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni, who had racist tweets resurface at the start of the season. Jax Taylor—known for his wildly ignorant transphobic and homophobic comments throughout the show’s duration—and his wife, Brittany Cartwright, were axed next.
Even before the firings, Pump Rules had for years steadily gone downhill in quality and ratings. And while Summer House—which follows “hard-working” New Yorkers letting loose in the Hamptons—was a slow build, a successful fourth season gave viewers hope that it would fill the SUR-shaped holes in our hearts. Its fifth season premieres this February.
But it turns out we can’t have one nice thing!
On a recent episode of her podcast Giggly Squad, Summer House castmember Paige DeSorbo commented that Bridgerton actor Regé-Jean Page would make a good James Bond because he’s “British and light-skinned.” Her cohost, castmate, and fellow white woman Hannah Berner giggled, and the two moved on with their conversation.
On a recent episode of the “giggly squad” podcast w Paige DeSorbo and Hannah Berner from #summerhouse, Paige said that Regé-Jean Page (actor who plays the duke of hastings in Bridgerton) would make a good James Bond bc he’s “light skinned.” Paige is a white woman. THREAD pic.twitter.com/lklEqFhYYL— Sophie Ross (@SophRossss) January 18, 2021
It should go without saying that it’s incredibly problematic—specifically, colorist and racist—to insinuate that someone is more fit for a role because of their skin tone, especially when you consider the fact that Idris Elba has been overlooked for the role for years. It’s concerning that neither she nor Berner realized this during the conversation or the editing process.
To make matters worse, it turns out both DeSorbo and Berner have a history of making ignorant comments on their podcast and Instagram Live show, including dead-naming Caitlyn Jenner (DeSorbo), outing a castmate’s suicidal ideations (Berner), accusing bisexual men of being unable to stay faithful to women in relationships (DeSorbo), mocking autism (Berner), and allowing their moderated Facebook group to become a breeding ground for racists, according to multiple group members I have spoken to. It also compounds the situation when you consider how Jules Daoud—one of only two people of color the show has cast in its first four seasons—was ostracized and bullied by her white castmates during her first and last season of the show (which I tweeted about back in April).
I love #SummerHouse but the 6 white people ostracizing the one brown girl for literally no reason is downright disgusting and despicable. Hope the entire cast feels ashamed. Twitter has your back @simplyjules___ 😘— Sophie Ross (@SophRossss) April 9, 2020
After backlash from fans following the Bridgerton remark, on her podcast DeSorbo issued a hollow, detached apology that didn’t seem to address or indicate that she understands the root of the issue. Nowhere on either of their Instagram pages will you find apologies, either, despite comments decrying their behavior. (They’ve both allegedly been deleting criticism from their pages, and shut down their Facebook group after fans called out their behavior.)
She finally addressed the controversy on a podcast episode yesterday with a canned apology before quickly moving on after one minute. Like... you’re not off the hook that easy girlie!!! pic.twitter.com/x3LKy3k4uT— Sophie Ross (@SophRossss) January 18, 2021
I don’t know about you, but I’m extremely tired of Bravo giving platforms to these kinds of people. We’re not asking for perfect—they’re supposed to be messy, slightly unhinged reality television stars—but is it too much to ask for non-garbage humans? Please. I don’t have much left at this point—just give me one reality show I can enjoy and support in good conscience. Andy Cohen, please do better.
One Word: Yikes
I’m not sure why these influencers agreed to this but I’m so glad they did.
In a recent documentary on YouTube entitled “New York City’s Rich & Poor—The Inequality Crisis,” featured influencer sisters Charlotte and Sophie Bickley epically fail to read the room, and you have to watch it for yourself to believe it. (And get your popcorn ready for the comments section.)
I’ll Just Leave This Brilliant Tweet Here…
We may have a new president, but some things never change!
Shoutout to all the Instagram influencers who've ignored COVID-19 restrictions, never publicly supported a candidate, vaguely encouraged people to vote but today are "so moved!" by the inauguration and having posted multiple stories of themselves tearing up in front of their TV.— Kate Smith (@byKateSmith) January 20, 2021