Bravo has fired one of the stars of “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” — and it’s not the one who is facing federal fraud charges or the one who has repeatedly said racist things on the show.
Jennie Nguyen, who was added to the cast in Season 2, has been dumped because of social media posts she made before she joined the Housewives. Bravo tweeted Tuesday that it has “ceased filming with Jennie Nguyen and she will no longer be a cast member.”
The tweet went on to say, “We recognize we failed to take appropriate action once her offensive social media posts were brought to our attention.”
After production on Season 2 of “RHOSLC” ended, social media posts Nguyen made in 2020 surfaced. She referred to members of Black Lives Matter as “thugs” and “violent gangs.” She shared a cartoon of an older white woman saying that the stick figures on the back of her car represent “how many rioters I’ve hit.” She also shared a debunked story that falsely accused George Floyd of rape.
In other posts, Nguyen expressed ardent support for Donald Trump and his conspiracy theories, and espoused anti-vaccine sentiments.
Nguyen apologized “for my deleted Facebook posts from 2020. ... At the time, I thought I was speaking out against violence, but I have since learned how offensive and hurtful my words were.” She did not explain how joking about running over “rioters” was non-violent.
The old posts were shocking, not just for their content but because they came from Nguyen. She has been, for the most part, a voice of reason in Season 2 of “RHOSLC.” And she’s been on the right side of an ongoing dispute with fellow cast member Mary Cosby, who referred to Nguyen’s “yellow” skin tones and “slanted eyes.” This came after Cosby, who is Black, disparaged both Blacks and Mexicans in earlier episodes.
[From Season 1: Was that racism on ‘Real Housewives of Salt Lake City’? Here’s what experts say we can learn from it.]
There have been calls for Cosby to be fired from the show as well. She did not show up for the filming of the Season 2 reunion episodes — as cast members are reportedly contractually obligated to do — and it is believed she will not return for Season 3. (Bravo has not responded to inquiries about whether Cosby quit, has been fired or is going to be fired.)
[Read more: It looks like Mary Cosby has quit or been fired by ‘Real Housewives of SLC’]
Although Bravo has not officially confirmed that “RHOSLC” will return, production began on Season 3 last week. According to People magazine, Cosby has not been filming with the other women. And Nguyen — who was filming with Lisa Barlow, Heather Gay, Meredith Marks, Whitney Rose and Jen Shah — was immediately removed from the show on Tuesday.
Bravo representatives also did not explain why they fired Nguyen days after her social media posts surfaced, while Cosby has remained a member of the cast despite making repeated racist remarks in both Season 1 and Season 2. Nor have Bravo executives explained how they were unaware of Nguyen’s offensive posts, despite the fact that they remained online until recently. “Moving forward, we will work to improve our processes to ensure we make better informed and more thoughtful casting decisions,” Bravo tweeted.
The network did not say if or how it will react to Nguyen’s posts and her firing in the remaining Season 2 episodes or the reunion episodes, which were filmed before the news of the posts broke.
Several of Nguyen’s now-former castmates have taken to social media to condemn her. Jen Shah, who is facing federal fraud and money laundering charges, wrote, “I must now stand up, on behalf of my husband and sons who are African American, to say that I am deeply offended by the racially insensitive posts and comments.” She went on to say that Nguyen’s posts were “infuriating” and add that she is “equally disappointed by the disingenuous apology that was issued.”
Barlow, who had been friends with Nguyen long before she joined the “RHOSLC” cast, wrote that her “heart is so very heavy right now. I feel true hurt and disappointment” because of the posts, which she does “not condone. ... The posts were harmful and hurtful to a community I love.”
Marks wrote, “There is no room in this world for hatred. ... Negative commentary rooted in prejudice regarding one’s race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality or gender is vile and should never be tolerated.”
And Rose took aim at Nguyen without mentioning her by name: “It is NEVER OK to blatantly make, comment, post, and/or share any type of racially charged & derogatory statements/posts.”
Gay made perhaps the strongest statement: “I am deeply shocked, saddened, and disappointed by the blatantly racist and derogatory statements reshared and liked” by Nguyen. “There can be no haven in this world for hateful anti-Black and violent rhetoric.”
Recent episode recaps:
Jan. 9: Things take a violent turn on ‘Real Housewives of SLC.’ Meredith suggests that Mary, a 49-year-old woman, is unaware that referring to “slanted eyes” and mocking Asian accents is wrong.
Jan. 16: Two of ‘The Real Housewives of SLC’ almost come to blows. Meredith insists she came out strongly against Mary’s racism. She didn’t.
Jan. 23: ‘Real Housewives of SLC’ are at each other’s throats — then totally chummy. Jennie confides in a confessional segment that “for a whole year, I went to anger management because I can’t control my temper.” She added, “one night, I [kept] throwing [expletive] at my husband, and I actually broke his ribs.” She continued: “The first step in controlling my anger is to forgive and to let go. So, for Mary, I am going to do that and make sure that we get along when we are in the same room.”