RHOBH: How Garcelle’s Treatment At Reunion Highlighted Diversity Issues


The reunion for The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills season 11 ignited a brief debate about race as it relates to Garcelle Beauvais. As the only Black housewife on the show, Garcelle opened up in season 11 about feeling left out her entire life because of her skin color. Having worked as a model, actress, and now reality star and talk show host, Garcelle has over 30 years of experience dealing with racial disparities in Hollywood. With her being the only Black housewife, seeing Lisa Rinna and Dorit Kemsley take turns verbally attacking her during the reunion rubbed viewers the wrong way and set off a discussion about the still-lingering diversity issues within the Housewives franchise.

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Season 11 saw Garcelle open up to the ladies about how she often feels like the oddball out because of her race. The ladies consoled her and found ways to show their support for her. But when it came time for the reunion, the claws were out. While Lisa, Dorit, and even newcomer Crystal Kung-Minkoff had valid issues with Garcelle because of shady remarks she has made about them, the three women taking back-to-back turns calling her out made viewers uncomfortable. Housewives are known to get more stern when a newcomer returns for a second season, but Garcelle probably wasn’t expecting what some of the ladies had in store for her.

Things didn’t get any better when Garcelle revealed the rumor she heard about Lisa. “Someone told me that you said that I should have never brought race into this show. That this show is not that kind of show,” Garcelle said. “And that really bothered me.” Lisa denied the accusation and instead turned it around on Garcelle, telling her longtime friend, “You have it out for me.” Shortly thereafter, Garcelle and Dorit got into it and Garcelle questioned how Dorit has mustered up so much courage to shout at her and confront her during group gatherings when Dorit has never acted like that before.

Fans were quick to pick up on all the microaggressions taking place and how Garcelle was seemingly being targeted by her co-stars. After Dorit told Garcelle she feels like Garcelle takes “jabs” to stay “relevant,” Garcelle shut down that notion. But many viewers couldn’t believe Dorit would have the gall to shade Garcelle’s career trajectory when she has been a familiar face in Hollywood since the 1980s. Garcelle was put in the hot seat at the reunion and even show OG Camille Grammer took notice. “Why are the ladies coming for Garcelle?” Camille tweeted. Many fans agreed, with one even blasting Dorit for making the shady comment. “I don’t need to do anything to stay relevant, let me just say that!” – Garcelle, who has been working in Hollywood for nearly 40 years,” they tweeted.

With Garcelle being the only Black housewife among a predominantly white cast, issues surrounding race will continue to show up. Adding one to two women of color within a predominantly white group is not how you solve an issue. Bravo has been credited with making strides towards diversity following the Black Lives Matter movement of 2020. Garcelle had already been added to The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills prior to the nationwide protests. But with her still being the only Black housewife, she might continue to feel left out. The season 11 reunion reflected that. The diversity issues within the Housewives universe remain ongoing and now the race debate has hit the Beverly Hills cast.

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.

Source: People, Camille Grammer/Twitter

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