*NeNe Leakes is taking legal action against Bravo, Andy Cohen and the production companies behind “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” accusing all of racism and fostering a hostile work environment.
“NBC, Bravo and True foster a corporate and workplace culture in which racially-insensitive and inappropriate behavior is tolerated — if not, encouraged,” the complaint alleges, which was filed in an Atlanta federal court, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Leakes, 53, names the Bravo network, her former boss Cohen, NBCUniversal and production companies True Entertainment and Truly Original as defendants. She also notes that her former costar and friend Kim Zolciak-Biermann, 43, often made racist comments which were largely ignored by Cohen and the most white Bravo executives. Leakes claims when she complained about Kim’s racism, she herself was punished.
She alleges that Bravo executives “did not terminate their relationship with Zolciak-Biermann, nor take any other meaningful action to put an end to her racially-offensive behavior” but instead gave her a spinoff, titled “Don’t Be Tardy,” which aired on Bravo for eight seasons.
“From the day the series began filming, NeNe was the target of systemic racism from co-star Kim Zolciak-Biermann, which was tolerated by Bravo executive producer Andy Cohen and other executives,” Leakes’ lawyer David deRubertis said in a statement to THR.
Leakes also accused the network of retaliating against her for being vocal about the Black Lives Matter movement.
“As the Black Lives Matter movement swept our nation, Mrs. Leakes — Bravo’s historically most successful Black female talent — should have been embraced by NBC, Bravo, and True,” the complaint says, per THR. “Instead, NBC, Bravo, and True forced her out of the ‘house she built,’ denying her a regular role.”
Leakes is suing for an unspecific amount, accusing the defendants of violating federal employment and anti-discrimination laws.