On Thursday, Andy Cohen vaguely answered to the rumor that Bethenny Frankel had been elevated to a controversial Real Housewives of New York leadership role.
Bethenny is rumored to be making calls behind the scenes, in a direction that many fans believe is damaging the franchise.
All About the Tea cited a report claiming that Frankel had been elevated to the title of “uncredited producer,” and Andy responded to the report in a cryptic tweet.
@2tall4u2 she has no producer rights or control over the edit. All the women get the episodes the same day.
— Andy Cohen (@Andy) May 26, 2016
Cohen’s carefully worded response states that Frankel has no “producer rights.” The title “uncredited producer” could fall under such a category, as could a position that may not be cemented by a hands-on final say — a “vanity” type position. No matter what Cohen may imply, any viewer can see Bethenny’s Skinny-mitts all over Season 8.
Perhaps Bethenny has no contracted “rights,” but was given a free hand to shape the franchise. There is no doubt that she has been given the freedom to thrash anyone in her path. Whatever the precise scenario — it all has the same Skinnygirl stench all over it. The climate of the show has changed — and the viewers feel it. One reason for the unsettling tone of the franchise may lie in the classic Bravo talking head interviews.
When was the last time you saw a talking head, challenging Bethenny? Any Housewives fan knows that all of the wives question, diss or snark on each other. This may occur with a twinkle in the eye of the deliverer, but no cast member is off-limits for an interview jab — until now. Fans watch Bethenny skewer all of the ladies, whether with nasty venom, or with sponsored Skinnygirl sprinkles—but everyone gets a sometimes crushing dose of Bethenny’s solo judgement. The only Bethenny targeted talking head jabs I could uncover was Jules weakly disagreeing with Bethenny when she challenged a hostess (Dorinda) at her own party, and again calling out her rude act at her Hamptons brunch. Sonja was raked over the coals mercilessly, and still didn’t lash back at Bethenny. Bethenny’s talking head spots also outnumber the others — by a lot.
The audience may not be able to nail the origin of the shift to the wall, but there is little doubt that Bethenny is the force behind the madness. In the end, whether the drift is official, or simply by the grace of a silly network that refuses to listen to their fans, the results are the same. Luann de Lesseps is about to receive the Bethenny beatdown, and may just emerge as the woman of the hour.
Andy Cohen responded to AATT’s article on Twitter, contradicting what fans are witnessing every week. AATT responded to his jab.