Kenya Moore isn’t known for apologetic over her decisions. But, The Real Housewives of Atlanta star made sure to apologize, this time around.
The Bravo network and RHOA faced backlash after Kenya was seen in Sunday’s episode wearing a Native American-inspired Halloween costume. After the episode aired, Kenya was accused of cultural appropriation for wearing the costume that included a Native American headdress in what she deemed was her “Warrior Princess” look.
After first defending the costume as “part of my heritage” on Twitter, as captured by The Grio, Kenya returned to social media singing a new tune. “I want to sincerely apologize for inappropriately wearing the Native American headdress as a costume,” she said in a statement. “I now realize that this was both disrespectful and insensitive and would never have done it if I had that knowledge and understanding beforehand. I regret it. When you know better, you do better. I am genuinely sorry.”
Her apology came after she, executive producer Andy Cohen, Bravo, and its parent company NBC Universal were all called out by IllumiNative, a nonprofit for indigenous people. “We are deeply disturbed by last night’s episode of #RHOA in which @thekenyamoore wore a Native American “warrior princess” costume,” it said in a lengthy Instagram caption that was also shared in a series of tweets on Twitter. “Costumes that mock Native peoples, defame our traditions and cultures, and perpetuate negative stereotypes are racist. “Playing Indian” is a form of mascotry that is not just offensive, it is part of a long history of how Native peoples have been dehumanized.”
As a result of the educational read, Bravo released a statement apologizing for allowing Kenya to wear the costume while filming. “We recognize that the recent episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, in which a cast member wears a Native American costume, did not uphold those values,” the network said before admitting to the different turnout it expected from viewers. “We had hoped it would provide a teachable moment, however in retrospect, it is clear that the network did not address this properly given the gravity of the situation. We apologize to both the Native American community and our audience as a whole.”