"I want to sincerely apologize for inappropriately wearing the Native American headdress as a costume," Moore 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."
IllumiNative, the Native-led nonprofit focused on raising visibility of Native issues and voices released a statement following the episode.
"We are deeply disturbed by the recent episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta, in which Kenya Moore 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," the organization said in a statement on Instagram. "Countless research studies show the harm these images, actions, and the normalization of these behaviors have on our youth. We also know the dehumanization and sexualization of Native women contributes to the crisis of murdered and missing Indigenous women."
The Native-led nonprofit also called out Bravo, Comcast and NBCUniversal for not intervening despite the fact that several cast members commented on how offensive Moore's costume was on camera.
"We are also incredibly concerned that none of the producers or executives at Bravo, Comcast, or NBCUniversal intervened, although several cast members commented on how uncomfortable, unnecessary, and offensive the costume was on camera," they went on to say. "The series has had several instances of racism and offensive behavior and yet it seems no training, procedures, or standards have been sent to stop offensive acts, which go against the values Comcast professes to have."
"It is important that Bravo, Comcast, NBCUniversal, Andy Cohen, and Kenya Moore apologize for the harm they have caused Native peoples and commit to ensuring offensive displays like this never happen again. Native people are not a costume," IllumiNative added.
Both Bravo and Moore commented on the post, with Bravo apologizing to the Native American community and their audience as a whole.
"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," the network said in a comment under IllumiNative's post. "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 Kenya Moore Hair Care founder responded in the comments as well, sharing the same statement she posted on Twitter.