Newcomer Leah McSweeney is calling on Bravo to diversify the cast of The Real Housewives of New York City when the new season starts.
The 37-year-old fashion designer has been actively protesting with the Black Lives Matter movement and is taking part in the upcoming Bravo TV special Race in America: A Movement Not a Moment.
Appearing in the special, McSweeney says: “When we’re talking about race and racism - why do we even have the word ally? This is an everyone problem. ‘Ally’ shouldn’t even be a thing. Everyone should be against racism, no matter what freaking color you are, no matter where you’re from. It’s truly a very evil idea, racism in general. So it should be, across the board, completely looked down upon and destroyed.”
The Married to the Mob founder thinks more can be done on the network and starting with her show.
“I hope that there’s not only diversity of race but an even deeper diversity of where someone lives or what their interests are,” she told Page Six.
“I hope that there’s just more diversity all across the board because New Yorkers are not a monolith, obviously. I think that it is gonna head in that direction.”
RHONY has been subjected to criticism in the past for showing a lack of diversity amongst the cast.
“I have a lot of black friends, and I hear a lot of stories from them about racism and the s–t they have to deal with,” McSweeney said. “But it never stops being shocking and appalling to hear someone’s personal stories, you know?”
In the 12 years since RHONY started, there has been no women of color on the main cast. It wasn’t up until this past season that The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills added actress Garcelle Beauvais to the cast, signaling a step in the right direction for the network.
This is not the first time McSweeney has been vocal about the lack of diversity on the show. In June, McSweeney told Us Weekly, “Bring on the diversity!”
“I hope going forward that we can do that” she added.
Amid rumors of a cast shake up OK! exclusively reported that journalist Alicia Quarles would be joining the cast to ‘increase diversity’ on the show.