Moment Of Clarity

Bully Pulpit? Real Housewives of Atlanta Reunion

As I watched the first part of the Real Housewives of Atlanta reunion, I fully expected foolishness and shenanigans.  But what actually transpired was surreal.

The inevitable happened – Kenya Moore, whom I have written about in the past, was attacked. While I don’t condone violence, I also don’t condone behavior that leads to violence either.

Whether it was scripted or, heaven forbid, real, for two years we have seen Kenya provoke, antagonize, and taunt Porsha while being NeNe’s sycophant. While Kenya has gotten into an altercation with every member on RHOA, she had it in for Porsha from day one.

Disliking someone is normal; we are not going to get along with everyone we meet. However, Kenya’s constant taunts and berating is by all accounts considered bullying. Her unrefined tactic of playing victim, despite this aggression, can be a bit much for anyone. (FYI: Kenya is the one who doesn’t have an accurate understanding of what it means to be a victim). Kenya’s behavior over the last two years culminated the way many people predicted it would – Kenya getting hit (and dragged across the floor) in Sunday’s Real Housewives of Atlanta Reunion show.

Granted, what Porsha did was inappropriate, BUT understandable; however, the network executives need to be held accountable for what ensued. Bravo allowed, and dare I say encouraged, Kenya’s behavior for the last year. What I found disappointing was that Andy Cohen, whom I adore, appeared to be enjoying Kenya’s shenanigans as if he were in a schoolyard egging on two people to fight.

The disappointment doesn’t stop there. Andy seemed to approve the notion of Kenya having a scepter even after he saw that Porsha and other cast-mates were visibly bothered by it – so much so that they threatened to use it on Kenya if she kept pointing it at or even touched them. RED FLAG #1.

When Porsha threw the scepter, Andy should have taken a break and had the women calm down or at the very least tell Kenya not to point it at anyone. Pointing the scepter can be viewed as intimidating and even aggressive; thereby leading one to think they have to defend themselves. By not reining in Kenya, the show executives put Kenya at risk of being hurt.

As if the program didn’t have enough chances to reign in Kenya’s bullying, the bullhorn was clearly the last straw. Especially after Porsha told her not to use it to speak to her.

Who wouldn’t have gotten fed up with being yelled at through a bullhorn 3 feet away? What employer allows that to happen and not end up with a call from an employment attorney?

Ah, but that isn’t the icing on the cake, no, no no. The icing can be found after the encounter when Andy sided with Kenya as if she were the victim, for reasons that I have stated before, and then did the unthinkable – he told Porsha that SHE HAD TO APOLOGIZE TO KENYA! It was truly disgusting. Only on reality television can you make the victim think she is the bully and the bully think she is the victim.

At a time when bullying is frowned on and serious efforts are being made to stop bullying in all it’s forms, BRAVO TV seems to be saying, “Bullying: That’s how you get ahead!”

Should Porsha have hit Kenya – NO. But everyone has a limit and line you shouldn’t cross. Unfortunately, Kenya was allowed to cross the line and pass the limit. To be  candid, I am afraid for Kenya. I’m afraid that one day, she’s going to act foolishly with the wrong person and she may not be able to walk away so easily.

I really hope television stations begin retaining clinical consultants for their reality shows. Things are escalating and it’s real. If this continues, someone is going to get really hurt.

With Love and Light …


Jinnie Cristerna, LCSW, CHt.

Jinnie Cristerna, LCSW, CHt.

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