'RHOBH' Star Crystal Kung Minkoff Says Conversations About Race Are 'Long Overdue' (Exclusive)

The new 'RHOBH' cast member talked to ET about addressing diversity and race on the reality TV series.

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills newbie, Crystal Kung Minkoff is opening up about having some real conversations about race and diversity on the reality TV series. Minkoff talked to ET's Lauren Zima about having those "long overdue" talks with the ladies of RHOBH.

"The conversation about race is long overdue," Minkoff told ET. "I let people know that it's an open conversation for me and I want people to feel safe in it, but also if I feel like I don't agree with what you're saying about it, then I'm gonna tell you."

Adding, "We're in a very sort of tumultuous time and I feel proud and a responsibility to speak out...I have a voice and I'm gonna use it."

In the trailer for the series, we see Minkoff have several scuffles with castmate, Sutton Stracke, but Minkoff, who is the first Asian-American woman to join the cast, said the root of their tension wasn't all about race.

"My experience was like a rollercoaster for sure of emotion. I've never been thrown into a group who already has a strong dynamic and individually very strong," she shared. "I have my struggles and I also had a great time. So, I think that's sort of the point and that's what you really get out of being new to a group of girlfriends. Sutton and I, we go through it and you know, you'll have to find out, but again, as I said, this is not just about race. This is about dynamics, friendships, people, humans. Resolve is always an option, and peace."

Sometimes, it was as simple as a fashion disagreement, like Stracke's attack on Minkoff's leather pants.

"My pants are amazing, so I'm just gonna say that out loud," she maintained with a chuckle.

Minkoff originally passed on the series, but reconsidered when fellow newbie and sister of RHOB OG Kyle Richards, Kathy Hilton, joined the cast.

"I've been friends with Kathy for a long time and Kathy called me and said why don't we do this together," she revealed.

While Minkoff is thrown right into the drama with castmates Erika Jayne and Dorit Kemsley, she admittedly tries not to live her life in drama and instead opted to bring her culture and traditions to the series.

"I'm really real, and my emotions are real and I cannot hide them," she maintained. "I would say you get to know my family and my culture and I get to share that with the girls which is so important to me, and so meaningful because they were really receptive in a positive way."

As far as a second season, fans will have to wait and see.

"Let's wait till it's out, you know? It's all too new for me," Minkoff said. "I had an interesting experience, so we'll see. I don't know."

The mom and actress gave ET a tour of her Bel Air home ahead of the show's premiere, and it's safe to say the 9,000 square foot mansion is RHOBH approved. The home is complete with a pool, exotic antiques and busts from the original Lion King movie, which her husband, Rob Minkoff, co-directed.

"These are the original casts from the movie," she said, pointing to the Lion King figures. Minkoff has an acting credit of her own, starring in her husband's film, Forbidden Kingdom.

"I have been in a movie called Forbidden Kingdom. It was with Jackie Chan and Jet Li, and I am proud to say I have an IMDB of 'Slave Girl,'" she shared.

See Minkoff in a different role when Season 11 of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills premieres Wednesday, May 19, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo.



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