OG housewives from The Real Housewives of Potomac, Robyn Dixon, and Gizelle Bryant blew through New York City the other day, dropping by the offices of the Root. We got to ask the question. Yes, the question about those nasty allegations of colorism in season 7 of the show.
First, what is Colorism or as Black folk call it “Color struck?” Let’s break it all the way down, according to Merriam-Webster colorism is defined as: “prejudice or discrimination especially within a racial or ethnic group favoring people with lighter skin over those with darker skin.” So there you go.
Colorism has been an issue from the viewers’ perspective for several seasons, so much so that it has been brought to the women’s attention through social media, at past reunions by Andy Cohen, and by their own castmates. Their co-star, Ashley Darby, posted a video in November on social media addressing being called a colorist, in which she denied being a colorist and said she’s had problems every woman on the show. The complexion of their skin didn’t mean a thing. Oh the shade, and that pun we intended.
The colorism conversations unfortunately have several situations on the show to pull from. For example, one of the most violent arguments in Real Housewives history happened between Monique Samuels and Candiace Dillard-Bassett during season 5. After the fight, Robyn Dixon and Gizelle Bryant chastised Monique, who is darker skinned than them, for putting her hands on Candiace, who is also darker-skinned) when Candiace’s words became too much to handle.
Viewers pinned Gizelle and Robyn’s lack of compassion on colorism given that they were quick to step in to malign Monique, who is dark-skinned, and not Mia, who is light-skinned, only a couple of seasons later for also being violent.
Confusing? Well, here’s some background: This Season 7, Mia Thornton, a lighter-skinned Black woman, threw a drink and other items at Wendy Osefo, who is dark-skinned, during an argument at a cast dinner. Instead of Gizelle and Robyn, nicknamed the Green-eyed Bandits, shaming Mia for being the aggressor in the situation, they took time to check on her and shame Wendy for being an antagonizer. This scene sent social media users into a frenzy, looking to compare the season 5 fight to the season 7 fight, believing that colorism is the reason why the lighter-skinned besties refused to show sympathy for Wendy.
Now here’s the current status. On December 15, 2022, Robyn and Gizelle were on a press tour for their podcast, Reasonably Shady. The duo stopped by The Root, both with blonde hair, bright smiles. Nice looking ladies, but with all this stuff about light skinned vs. dark skinned, we couldn’t help but notice Gizelle is not all that light skinned to be honest.
Anyhoo, these lovely ladies had such cheerful attitudes until the question of colorism came up. Gizelle immediately denounced the accusations saying, “People are entitled to their opinions, what we know happens on our show, we know that’s not the case. So I don’t really get it.”
Robyn agreed with her cohost, trying to clear her name saying, “Honestly I don’t really read what is being said. I don’t understand where it comes from when watching the show and it can’t be further from the truth when it comes to myself and who I am as a person and my upbringing and everything like that. I 100% reject that. I do feel bad though that that is a feeling that people are coming away with. I don’t want to diminish what they are feeling, but I do want to say that it couldn’t be farther from the truth.”
The duo also appeared on Sherri and Gizelle responded to Sherri Shepard’s colorism question saying, “I always feel like social media does not pay us, so I don’t pay attention to it. The minute it pays us, I’ll be all in it.”
Robyn Dixon followed with, “Honestly I’m not perfect and I don’t pretend to be perfect. I don’t expect to be on a reality show about our ‘real lives’ being perfect,” leaving room to believe that she could handle some situations on the show better.
Oh to the well. The Green-eyed Bandits don’t seem to be giving in to the accusations anytime soon.