After 13 seasons, I’m not entirely sure who watches the Real Housewives of New York anymore, but I do know it took 13 reasons for Bravo’s infamously segregated Real Housewives franchise to add a Black woman to its New York cast. Like the fictional Sex and the City and Girls before it, the reality show spent over a decade pretending as if Black women don’t exist in every echelon of New York life—with the rare exception of Luann de Lesseps dipping herself in a vat of bronzer to cosplay Diana Ross for Halloween.
So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the integration of lawyer and Revolt producer and host Eboni K. Williams, the first Black housewife to enter the cast in May 2021, has been accompanied by some...growing pains, especially following a year of racial reckoning. Like many more established members of the cast, Williams may mingle in high society circles, but she is not one to mince words or avoid difficult conversations. As The Root previously reported in June, she called out some longstanding castmembers during a discussion about their respective educations, Williams being the most accredited of the cast.
“Your white fragility is killing me right now,” Williams reportedly told de Lesseps and fellow RHONY veteran. Ramona Singer.
That conversation was tense, but Williams has apparently (and thankfully) not backed down in the weeks since, pressing on at least one castmember’s most fragile nerve in recent episodes, as reported by Page Six on Wednesday.
Ramona Singer just doesn’t get it.
The “Real Housewives of New York City” staple told new cast member Eboni K. Williams — the show’s first black star — that she doesn’t understand how Williams, an attorney and successful media personality, can talk about “suffering.”
“But you’re living a great life, I don’t understand,” Singer, 64, said on Tuesday night’s episode. “I want to live your life … I want your life, bitch. It’s real good.”
Williams — who has spent much of her short tenure on the show trying to teach her co-stars about issues related to race and the Black Lives Matter movement — acknowledged that she’s heard that viewpoint a lot.
“Ramona’s saying something that a lot of people who look at me feel, which is you talk about Black Lives Matter and you talk about black subordination of life, but I’m looking and I’m seeing a first-class existence,” Williams, 37, said.
Singer responded by saying, “You said you’ve suffered. I said, ‘Looking at you, I don’t think you suffer.’”
Now, if Page Six (part of the traditionally conservative New York Post) says you don’t get it, trust: you don’t. But at least one RHONY castmate came to Williams’ defense—at least, during a confessional. Leah McSweeney reportedly told the cameras, “Just because she’s doing well doesn’t mean she didn’t struggle or that she didn’t have to face any racism or sexism or whatever.”
But this isn’t the first time Williams and Singer have bumped heads on pertinent issues, despite the 38-year-old expressing a desire to “have a real friendship” with the 64-year-old socialite. Feeling that connection should include getting a grasp on Singer’s values, Williams attempted to broach the subject of politics, much to Singer’s discomfort, as Page Six reported last week.
“Let’s just have a nice evening, I don’t want to talk politics,” Singer said after Williams asked for her thoughts, before repeatedly proclaiming that she does not like to discuss politics with friends.
Singer, who got up multiple times throughout the heated exchange — heading to the bar and her bedroom — eventually declared that she was going to leave her own apartment.
“I’m going to take a step away because you know what, I don’t want to do this. I don’t. I’m liking you. I don’t know you that well, feel like you’re teaching me, you’re preaching me,” Singer told Williams.
Williams, a Biden-Harris supporter, responded: “I’m trying to understand what your values are because if we can assess and have any alignment, right, on values, we can have a real friendship.” Singer dismissed the plea, saying she simply wanted “to have fun” after a “really hard week.” Williams then doubled down on her earlier assessments of the crew, saying, “that’s your privilege, this is the white female fragility.”
I mean...where is lie? (Meanwhile, anyone else thinking this is why they rarely let the white housewives and Black housewives play together?)
After Singer accused Williams of being “preachy,” Williams rightly called her out for “gaslighting” her, adding, “you can’t like me only when I say the things you want me to say.”
Singer again dismissed Williams’ concerns, telling her she didn’t care to discuss “race, religion or creed.”
“Ramona, that’s who I am,” Williams responded.
Granted, I didn’t watch the episode (and likely would’ve thrown something at my TV had I attempted to), but Page Six reported that all ended well between the two. That is, if you consider being called “a a strong black bitch” a compliment.
Williams and Singer were able to hug it out by the episode’s end, with Williams telling her co-star, “I’m not going to treat you with kid gloves and white fragility because you’re a strong white woman.”
“And you’re a strong black bitch,” Singer responded.
Yeah, I’d need a new TV about now.