Real Housewives of Atlanta sixth season is reportedly one of the most watched seasons in the history of the reality show. Aside from the diamonds, Chanel bags, Christian Louboutins, fancy cars, elaborate homes, and exciting social lives, fans tune in for the comedy and intense real life drama. One cast member, in particular, known for her finger snapping, sharp-tongued comedic one liners is original cast member NeNe Leakes. Leakes was, at one time, one of the favorite housewives of all the Bravo TV Real Housewives franchise. Many fans, however, are now wondering if Bravo TV has created an egotistical, ruthless monster.
Andy Cohen, executive vice president of development and talent, interviewed Leakes on his popular show Watch What Happens Live Sunday night after the season finale of Real Housewives of Atlanta. The question looming over the heads of many is why Cohen gave Leakes an entire interview alone. What appeared to be an opportunity for the reality star to clear up any speculations or judgments made against her possibly turned into a platform to expose her true colors. As Cohen asked questions about the reality star’s point of view on the violence that occurred during the reunion taping of the Real Housewives of Atlanta and whom she believes should be fired from the show, Leakes’ answers spoke volumes.
The reality star reportedly wanted her fans to know that she does not condone violence, but she believes if a person gets in another person’s personal space, it is a violation that justifies a possible violent reaction. Castmates Porsha Williams and Kenya Moore reportedly engaged in a heated argument during the upcoming reunion special of Real Housewives of Atlanta. From Leake’s point of view, Moore, without touching Williams, “provoked” Williams. Leakes went on to further justify why Williams physically attacked Moore while stating she does not support violence. She possibly forgets that millions of fans witnessed her “violate” the personal space of former castmate Kim Zolciak on a tour bus and Kandi Burruss during an event. Zolciak, in a separate incident, reported to the police that Leakes had choked her in a parking lot when the cameras were not present. Many fans believe that this was the first sign that the hit reality show Real Housewives of Atlanta was creating a monster.
Viewers took to Facebook and Twitter Sunday night immediately following the Cohen interview to express their disappointment and disgust in Leakes’ interview. When Leakes shared with Cohen during the interview that she felt model and business owner Cynthia Bailey brought nothing to the Real Housewives of Atlanta and insinuated that her “friend” needed to be fired from the show, viewers were blown away. Avid followers of the show know that Bailey has been Leakes’ number one loyalist and promoter for several seasons. Bailey has always demonstrated having Leakes back when other cast mates felt “violated” by her. Viewers watched as Leakes disrespected Bailey and her husband Peter by referring to him as a b****. Bailey, once again, forgave her friend’s bad behavior and continued their longtime friendship. However, the reality star demonstrated during the interview that she does not have her friend’s back. Bailey took to Twitter stating she had been loyal to Leakes. Anyone reading between the lines of the message felt Bailey painfully removing the knife from her back.
In Hollywood, it is believed only the ruthless survive. It is an industry that can bring out the evil with the seduction of vanity and money. Once a housewife and Mother in a quiet suburb outside of Atlanta turned $1 million reality starlet overnight, Leakes might not have handled the Hollywood transition so well. Most people would find that being a housewife and having motherly duties to walking red carpets with paparazzi flashing cameras is a difficult transformation to adjust to. The original cast member is quick to remind Bravo TV fans that she gave the other housewives their break into showbiz by getting them onto the Real Housewives of Atlanta. She also never lets her cast mates forget that they are not on her level. She cashes Donald Trump checks from her stint on the Celebrity Apprentice, lands a recurring role on the hit television show Glee and gets cast in, the now canceled show, The New Normal.
Leakes successfully used the Real Housewives of Atlanta platform to launch her to new levels of success, without question. Now millions of fans can tune in to watch her compete on the popular show Dancing With The Stars. The dancing competition requires votes from the judges and the public. Many are wondering if Leakes possibly hoped her interview Sunday night with Cohen will get all of America to love and vote for her. While many of her supporters are loyal fans no matter what of the reality star, others are beginning to see the evil side to Leakes. With a reported criminal history of fraud and robbery, some wonder if her past is truly who she still is today disguised under Chanel, expensive wigs, and blinding, bleached veneers.
There will always be those who root for the man or woman determined to win by any means necessary. Then there are those who believe reality shows like Real Housewives of Atlanta create egotistical monsters like a NeNe Leakes. In any case, Bravo TV possibly knows their “monster” will continue to up their ratings that translate into dollars at the end of the day. Shine the spotlight on NeNe Leakes, by any means necessary.
Opinion by Meleika Gardner