“Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Kenya Moore is apologizing for wearing a Native American headdress as a costume after facing backlash for “cultural appropriation.”
“I want to sincerely apologize for inappropriately wearing the Native American headdress as a costume,” Moore commented on Instagram. “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.”
Moore sparked backlash following Sunday’s Halloween-themed episode of “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” in which she dressed as a “warrior princess” to a costume party.
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Several of her castmates voiced displeasure over her costume during the episode. Drew Sidora called Moore’s ensemble “problematic,” while Porsha Williams added, “I thought we weren’t doing that no more.”
Many social media users agreed.
“We are deeply disturbed by last night’s episode of #RHOA,” wrote IllumiNative, a nonprofit initiative that “challenges the negative narrative” of Natives, on Instagram Monday.
The activist group, which was created and is led by Native peoples, continued: “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.”
IllumiNative said it’s “incredibly concerned” that no executives or producers at the show’s network, Bravo, Comcast or parent company, NBC Universal, intervened.
“The series has had several instances of racism and offensive behavior and yet it seems no training, procedures, or standards have been sent to stop offensive acts,” the group continued.
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Bravo responded to the backlash, admitting that airing the costume didn’t align with the network’s “highest standards of respect and inclusivity.”
“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 commented under @IllumiNative’s post. “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.”
Bravo has faced criticism in the past for alleged racism and offensive behavior. In September, longtime “RHOA” star NeNe Leakes called out Bravo and executive producer Andy Cohen in a series of tweets, claiming she experienced “systemic racism.”
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