A day after four of her cast members were fired, the grande dame of Vanderpump Rules is speaking out.
Lisa Vanderpump, who headlines the Bravo reality series that follows the staff of her L.A. restaurant SUR, took to social media on Wednesday to address the firings of longtime cast members Stassi Schroeder and Kristen Doute after a racist prank the two pulled on former co-star Faith Stowers came to light. (Two other cast members, Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni, were also fired for racist tweets.) “It was necessary for me to be quiet until now, until decisions had been made,” she began, before adding: “Now I can freely speak from the heart.”
Alluding to the ongoing global protests against racism and police violence, Vanderpump said “we all have a part to play to create a kinder, more just society. My hope is for this generation to treat each other with respect and humanity, and realize that actions have, and should have, consequences.” She added that she is “deeply saddened by some of the lack of judgment that has been displayed” by her employees. “I have always been an equal rights activist and ally,” she noted, and “we’ve never tolerated” racism or unequal treatment “in the workplace or our lives.”
Vanderpump vowed that her restaurant empire “will continue to embrace diversity as one of our greatest strengths, and I’m excited to give you [a] deeper look into the multi-faceted fabric of our company in the future.”
Bravo personality Andy Cohen also addressed the controversy on Wednesday’s episode of his SiriusXM radio show, saying: “I absolutely support Bravo’s decision. I think it was the right decision.” (The former executive also made sure to remind listeners: “I’m not in charge of programming at Bravo anymore… I don’t have anything to do with the show except I love it and that I host the reunions.”) He added that he recently spoke with Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kandi Burruss, and “she had some really fantastic suggestions for how we can move forward, and we’re all ears.”
Stowers, who was victimized by Schroeder and Doute in 2018 when they called the cops and tried to pin a crime on her, also applauded Bravo’s response, according to E! Online: “[Bravo and NBCUniversal] taking a stand is something we can look at and say, ‘Wow. They are listening to the people. They care about black people and people of color because this is what they are doing. They are showing that right now. That made me feel really good.”