Andy Cohen Ready to Recast NeNe Leakes on ‘RHOA’ Amid Ratings Slump!
Andy Cohen revealed if he would support NeNe Leakes’ return to the Real Housewives of Atlanta on Saturday at BravoCon.
“I’m a nostalgic guy. She and I came up together and there’s always room in my heart for, you know, everybody,” he told a fan at the Las Vegas event, in a video posted online.
When a fan asked the Bravo executive if NeNe could ever win back her peach, he responded—“Who knows? I mean, she asked me a few years ago to keep her name out of my mouth, so I try to respect that.”
NeNe’s relationship with Bravo has been dicey ever since she levied accusations of racial discrimination against both the network and Cohen. NeNe appeared on RHOA Seasons 1-7 and 10-12, before making her exit in 2020.
In April 2022, NeNe filed a lawsuit against Bravo, NBC Universal, Andy Cohen, and production companies, True Entertainment and Truly Original. She accused the defendants of violating federal employment and anti-discrimination laws, and alleged that the production companies covered up several incidents involving former cast mate, Kim Zolciak. The lawsuit claimed that Kim used racial stereotypes and slurs toward her black co-stars for years. NeNe, 55, eventually dismissed her suit against Bravo due to contractual agreements, which require the stars and the network to hash out litigation in arbitration.
In May 2022, NeNe accused the network of blacklisting her for speaking out about her grievances. In August 2022, NeNe appeared to slam the “Watch What Happens Live” host on Twitter.
“I am happy I was able to help all the other black women get job opportunities that are working for them,” she wrote, alleging that Cohen had shut down opportunities “because I was a threat to his career.”
NeNe dropped her discrimination lawsuit that same month, but maintained the right to reopen it at a later date.
RHOA fans have been pushing for a reboot similar to Bravo’s reinvention of the Real Housewives of New York City, which included a brand new cast. The current RHOA cast includes Kandi Burruss, Shereé Whitfield, Marlo Hampton, Drew Sidora, Sanya Richards-Ross and Kenya Moore.
Cohen teased that the show will not start over like RHONY, but could see a partial cast shakeup as part of a rebuilding process.
“I mean, I think that [‘RHONY’s reboot] showed us that it can be done and done well. … Which is really a strong thing to see,” Cohen said.
He added — “I always love building with what we have … I think ‘Atlanta’ has some really strong building blocks that are already there and we’re in a growth area. We have a growth opportunity for ‘Atlanta.’”
In August, NeNe sat down with former RHOA producer, Carlos King, and had some choice words to say about longtime cast member, Kandi Burruss.
The former reality TV diva called out Kandi for not bringing the heat, commenting — “I think that Kandi is not exciting. I just don’t think the camera loves her. I think the camera loves her family, but I don’t think they love her.”
She clarified that she and Kandi had settled their issues stemming from their time together on the show, before asserting — “As much as they want to make Kandi the star, and she’s been there for 100 years, and she is her. I don’t think not one person tunes in and believes that.”
King later asked the Bravo alum to rank various “Housewife” personalities as “stars” or “starless.” NeNe took another jab at Kandi when her name popped up.
“I’ve never seen Kandi as a star,” she noted. “I’ve seen Kandi as a supporting star but not as the star.”
Avigail is an Entertainment blogger at All About The Tea, who specializes in The Real Housewives of Atlanta and The Real Housewives of Potomac. Avigail has a background in marketing. She’s a Brooklynite living in the Bahamas, with a passion for travel, writing, reality TV watching, pop culture and spoken word.