NeNe Leakes, Billie Lee & More React to Firing of 'Vanderpump Rules' Stars Stassi Schroeder & Kristen Doute

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Bravo reality celebs NeNe Leakes, Billie Lee and more are speaking up. After news broke that Vanderpump Rules stars Stassi Schroeder and Kristen Doute were fired Tuesday -- after past racist actions against former co-star Faith Stowers resurfaced earlier this week -- several other Bravo stars are weighing in and demanding more from the network.

In a statement to ET, Bravo and Evolution Media confirmed Tuesday that "Stassi Schroeder, Kristen Doute, Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni will not be returning to Vanderpump Rules." The termination comes days after Stowers went on Instagram Live and recalled an incident from 2018, claiming that Schroeder and Doute called the police on her for crimes she had nothing to do with.

Real Housewives of Atlanta's NeNe Leakes responded to an Instagram post from Bravo announcing the news and wrote, "Well alrighty then! Now we have a few more questions to ask about in other areas where there's a major difference. Should we talk privately or publicly?"

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Meanwhile, several others questioned why it took Bravo so long to take action -- both over Schroeder and Doute's actions and also over the past racist tweets that led to Boyens and Caprioni getting fired as well.

"I just really think it’s important to not just fire people because the trend now holds you accountable for endorsing and employing racial terrorists," Real Housewives of Potomac star Candiace Dillard Bassett tweeted. "Leadership needs to explain WHY they choose not to tolerate racial discrimination and prejudice."

"Anyone can follow the leader. What separates parrots from agents of change/trailblazers is comprehension of action," she added. "Why was it important to remove these people Who kept their jobs months and years after their indiscretions were made public?"


Bassett went on to say that the firings themselves shouldn't be what people are celebrating, but rather what the terminations represent.

"Losing your job, especially on such a public platform is a blow. Instead of celebrating their fate let’s celebrate what it stands for: the tip of the iceberg Of dismantling a centuries long tirade of oppression & racism," she tweeted.
 

The call for deeper change at Bravo was echoed by many other reality TV figures, many of whom said that firing the pair was the right move, but that there's more the network can do to foster equality and diversity in the workplace.

"Thank you!" Real Housewives of Potomac's Wendy Osefo commented. "The next step should be for @bravotv to create a working group comprised of Black talent from @bravotv and executives to co-create a shared vision of inclusionary practices to ensure equity within the workplace. #BLACKLIVESMATTER."

Vanderpump Rules' Billie Lee, who appeared in seasons 6 and 7 of the series, shared a lengthy open letter to Bravo on Monday, before the terminations were announced, and reflected on her first interactions with Stowers when she first joined the cast.

"I didn’t know at the time that I was her replacement. You see Faith and I were just the token black and trans girl. We were edited into a villain. To be first lifted up only to be torn down. A villain for someone else’s story. The star role was already taken by white privilege and her name was Stassi Schroeder," Lee wrote.

"I’m not here to tell you that Stassi or any of my previous cast members are racists but I will tell you their white cis privilege cost me my job and it looks like their privilege could of cost a black girl her life. Who’s next?" she wrote. "I will also tell you it’s not just Stassi. It’s her network BravoTV. BravoTV supported this girl after all the awful things she has done. Not only did they support her, they celebrated her with more airtime."

Lee went on to share her plea for the network: "Please stop."

"Please stop glorifying the racist, ignorant, and transphobic people on your network," Lee said. "You may have your token shows and your token cast members but with this revolution we see right through internal racism."

According to Stowers, the incident in question occurred after The Daily Mail ran an article about an unknown woman who'd been going around robbing homes in Hollywood in 2018.

"There was this article on Daily Mail where there was an African American lady. It was a weird photo, so she looked very light-skinned and had these different, weird tattoos. They showcased her, and I guess this woman was robbing people. And they called the cops and said it was me," Stowers recalled, referring to Schroeder and Doute. 

Stowers told Page Six on Tuesday that she felt "vindicated" at the news that Schroeder and Doute had been fired from the show.

"I hope they use this time that they have now to educate themselves to why this happened to them and try to use [their] voice later for real change," she said. "I feel so vindicated studios and production are able to see blatant racism and make these positive changes and help move the race forward -- help with the fight forward. I was ready to put myself in the line of fire, because I don’t know what will happen if I don’t say anything, but I'm glad I did."

After Schroeder came under fire for her actions, she apologized publicly in a lengthy statement on Instagram, in which she wrote, "Racially insensitive comments from my past have resurfaced. It is important that I continue to take accountability for what I have said and done, while pushing myself to do better."

"I have grown significantly from the person I was then, and I am still filled with remorse and regret for the hurt I caused," she added. "What I did to Faith was wrong. I apologize and I do not expect forgiveness. I am also sorry to anyone else that feels disappointed in me. I am going to continue to look closer at myself and my actions -- to take the time to listen, to learn, and to take accountability for my own privilege."

For more on the fallout and the firings, see the video below.

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