Stassi Schroeder Says She Hired a Diversity Coach After Being Fired From 'Vanderpump Rules'
By Desiree Murphy
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Stassi Schroeder is breaking her silence after being fired from Vanderpump Rules for past racially insensitive actions and remarks. The reality star virtually appeared as a guest on the Tamron Hall show on Thursday, where she addressed the recent fallout. She also opened up about the steps she's been taking in her personal life the past few months to become "a better person."
Asked why she decided to speak out now, three months later, Schroeder admitted to Hall that she "needed time to process" her feelings, and "what happened."
"I feel like one of the most frustrating parts when this all went down was that people expected me to just understand everything immediately," explained Schroeder, who is five months pregnant with her first child, a baby girl, with fiancé Beau Clark. "Things like that take time. I felt like it would be better for me to take the time to get a greater understanding of everything and the issues before I opened my mouth again."
As for people calling her a racist, Schroeder confessed, "That has been the hardest part of all of this."
"That is absolutely the hardest part. Just going out to a restaurant or going to the grocery store and wondering if that’s what people think," she added. "I don't have hate in my heart but I've recognized that I wasn't anti-racist. I wasn't, and that's something that I've been learning throughout all of this."
ET reported back in June that Schroeder and fellow Vanderpump Rules star Kristen Doute had been fired from the Bravo franchise after past racist actions against former co-star Faith Stowers resurfaced. Bravo and Evolution Media confirmed in a statement to ET at the time that Schroeder and Doute, along with Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni, would not be returning to Vanderpump Rules.
The fallout came just days after Stowers recalled a 2018 incident involving Schroeder and Doute during an Instagram Live session. "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," Stowers said. "They showcased her, and I guess this woman was robbing people. And they called the cops and said it was me."
On Thursday, Schroeder insisted to Hall that she believed Stowers was guilty of the crime when she made the 911 call. She added that she does "absolutely understand" how the potential ramifications of her actions could have negatively impacted Stowers' life.
"I've spent the last three months working with a teacher and learning about everything. And there was so much that I didn't know," she admitted. "I didn't understand that just because something wasn't about race for me, doesn't mean it's not about race for the other person because I'm bringing my experience as a white privileged woman to this situation and she's bringing her experience as a Black woman into this situation. And because it's about race for her, it is about race. And that's something that I've realized."
Schroeder promised Hall that she has been doing the work to learn more about race and diversity over the past few months, and doesn't view herself as a victim of cancel culture.
"I'm someone who messed up quite a few times. I am the reason why I'm in this situation," she said. "I think a lot of people wanted me to focus on cancel culture and whether I was a victim or not, and it's just not how I feel at all."
"I just want to be a better person," she continued. "I'm pregnant and I want my daughter to be proud of me. I want to be a part of the solution. I've been a part of the problem for years now, and I've recognized that. That's why I say I don't feel like I'm a victim of cancel culture. People want me to be mad at it and I'm not. I needed it."
Aside from what happened with Vanderpump Rules, Schroeder was also called out for comments she made in March 2017 about the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag on her podcast, Straight Up With Stassi. "I'm, like, really sick of everyone making everything about race," she said in part at the time. "I'm kind of over it ... everyone giving their impassioned speeches about race and all of that stuff. I'm like, 'Why is it always just about African Americans?'"
Speaking with Hall on Thursday, Schroeder said she had "been wanting to talk about this podcast more."
"Going through these past few months, working with a teacher and learning about Black history, and just the obstacles that Black people face every single day. I look back on that podcast and I am so embarrassed that I even had those thoughts, much less put them out there. I was that Karen. I was a Karen who was basically like, 'Well, what about All Lives Matter?'"
"I have been wanting to talk about this podcast because I now know how to speak for Black Lives Matter... to be able to defend it when people are questioning it," she added.
At the end of the interview, Schroeder also set the record straight on whether she could ever return to Vanderpump Rules following her firing.
"No, that ship has sailed," she said. "My life feels very different right now. I think when something like this happens and you get pregnant on top of it, you take inventory of your life and you think what is going to be the best for my future child."
"I think getting drunk and starting conflict and misbehaving on a reality show isn’t my journey anymore," she added.