‘RHONY’ Alum Heather Thomson Sparks Outrage After Posing With Racist Monkey Imagery …. Fans Demand Answers!
Heather Thomson has faced significant backlash on social media after posting an image that was deemed highly insensitive and connected to deep-seated historical racism.
Former Real Housewives of New York star, Heather Thomson, 53, ignited controversy with a recent Instagram post. On Tuesday, she shared several photos on her Instagram page, where she could be seen posing in front of the “Monkey Room,” at the Houdini Estate in California. The door handles of the “Monkey Room” featured blackamoor imagery, depicting a dressed monkey held up by shackles. She captioned the post, “no monkeying around,) 🙈 🙉 🙊#happyholladays#cheers #anitetoremember #mylagosmyway#meandyou #lagos #funkymonkeyroom.”
The use of this racist imagery led to a swift and negative response from social media users.
Consequently, Heather decided to delete the post and reposted an edited version of the picture. She also disabled comments on the post.
This incident has attracted significant attention and criticism online, with many expressing their disappointment and anger over the insensitive choice of imagery. Heather Thomson, who had appeared on The Real Housewives of New York and made occasional appearances on the show even after her formal departure, has now found herself in the midst of controversy due to the incident. It remains to be seen how she will address the backlash and whether there will be any further repercussions.
Many of Heather’s followers responded to her post with outrage and disappointment. One person wrote, “@iamheathert wake up babes and delete this post. And that’s the nicest way I can say it.” Another person shared, “The way I ran over here from Twitter…wtf lady.”
Someone else shared, “Fyi this has incredibly racist undertones”
Another person commented, “The Blackface, the chains, the monkey reference Heather did you leave any racism out.”
A fan shared, “Ma’am. Far be it from me, a middle aged white woman, to tell you what’s wrong with this picture and caption. But AT THE VERY LEAST, you should know that “monkey” is a derogatory term and that the monkey in the picture is, in fact, a slave. Read the goddamned room. Hope this helps!”
Another individual penned, “What in the antebellum is this post?”
A person stated, “Heather… cmon?! Did you look at this picture before you posted it?”
And someone simply wrote, “That’s Racist”
In an article by House Beautiful while discussing art and decor, it’s explained that Blackamoor artwork has historical origins rooted in racism or prejudice. Blackamoor portrays a dark-skinned individual as a person or an animal primarily monkeys), often depicted as a slave or servant, of Moorish heritage, and is used as a form of decoration. Blackamoors can be seen in various forms, including jewelry and home decor items. Regardless of the object’s context or historical period, the motif carries undeniable harm and negative connotations.
“They might have become synonymous with Old World luxury, but these items exploited servitude as ornamentation,” says Adrienne L. Childs, PhD, an art historian, curator, and author of the forthcoming book Ornamental Blackness: The Black Body in European Decorative Arts.
Over on Twitter, many fans expressed their outrage. One person wrote, “This was a big misstep on Heather’s part. Not sure if it was intensional but it was dumb. For anyone saying, it’s a monkey. You are missing historical context – Europeans history of making disparaging comparisons between Black people and Apes/monkeys.”
Another noted, “OMG!!! The #RHONY racism doesn’t stop.” And another fan commented, “IDGAF if it’s a monkey or a gorilla, It’s symbolism is showing a black male made to look like a slave. Disgusting all around!”
Someone else tweeted, “Omg, this is absolutely disgusting. I’ve never been a fan of hers & this most definitely makes me dislike her so immensely. Does she think that’s cute? Something she’s proud of & that people would be impressed by? Sickening.”
Heather Thomson first joined the cast of The Real Housewives of New York in Season 5 and departed at the conclusion of Season 7 in 2015. While she made occasional appearances on the show following her departure, she had not returned in the capacity of a “friend” until now.
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.