RHONY Just Got Its First Black Housewife & It’s About Time

Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Revolt.
The Real Housewives of New York was in need of a major cast shakeup following the departures of fan favourites Tinsley Mortimer and Dorinda Medley, Thankfully, Bravo had a fantastic (and long overdue) idea for the upcoming 13th season — adding a Black woman into the mix.
Eboni K. Williams is the newest Housewife to join the RHONY squad, marking a huge first for the OG Housewives show. Despite being based in one of the most diverse cities in the country, the series has never starred a woman of colour in all of its years on air. Starting next season, Williams will be the first, and it’s a huge deal.
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37. I’m so glad to see your ass!! ⁣ ⁣ The past year has tested and gifted me in ways that I couldn’t even conceive of before. ⁣ ⁣ For starters, I started my REVOLT TV journey exactly a year ago with my premiere episode of #SOTC 🙌🏾. Truly loved my job for the first time in a long time. ⁣ ⁣ Then I suffered a moderate case of coronavirus in April (thank God I didn’t have to be hospitalized 🙏🏾). But I was sick, and it was scary. For the first time in my life, I REALLY contemplated my own mortality. Shit hits different when you legit think you might be in your last days. ⁣ ⁣ Happiness is now my priority. And for the first time, I don’t feel guilty about it. ⁣ Y’all know I’m driven by my God-given purpose: to make this world better for others, especially those that look like me. ⁣ I work non-stop. And it’s been a great distraction to keep me busy enough to not pay that much attention to...me. ⁣ ⁣ How do I really feel? Am I really happy? And if I’m not, what am I prepared to give up in order to claim my happiness?? ⁣ ⁣ Anything you don’t change, you choose. Being sick and then fully recovering, forced clarity around some of my life choices. Painful & necessary clarity. And I’m grateful for it. #GrowingPains⁣ ⁣ Then, I got a call from Diddy’s team inviting me to host and executive produce a new show for and by Black people. Look at God ya’ll. As the world was at a standstill, I was offered the opportunity to help create the show of my dreams. #RevoltBlackNews⁣ ⁣ Mr. Combs & RevoltTV, you have no idea how you in a way, you saved me this year. I’m forever grateful. ⁣ ⁣ So, 37. I’m literally in pursuit of happiness this year. And I’m excited about. I’ve earned it. This year I’m paying extra close attention to how I FEEL. ⁣ ⁣ In every relationship and in every transaction, I must feel two things in order to proceed: Joy & Safety. Do I feel safe with you? Do I feel protected in this business agreement? Do I enjoy the work? Do I enjoy YOU?? ⁣ ⁣ Cheers to another year to do what I love alongside the people I love ❤️🥂God Bless⁣ @revolttv @diddy

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The soon-to-be reality star might be a new face to Bravo fans, but she is a name to know within the media world. Williams has credits for a number of reporting and hosting gigs, her long resume including time at Fox News, the NFL Network, and Diddy’s REVOLT network, where she hosts a Black culture show called Black News. Her informed takes on everything from politics to representation are the result of her other job as an attorney; after getting her law degree from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, Williams specialized in family law and civil litigation.
Williams will make an interesting addition to the show, especially since RHONY is one of the whitest series within the Housewives franchise. Her hiring has been a long time coming, according to RHONY OG Bethenny Frankel. Before she walked away from the Bravo reality show for good in 2019, Frankel was actively trying to diversify the cast.
“For years, I have submitted black women,” Frankel tweeted when a fan commented on RHONY’s obvious diversity problem. “We live in NY. This isn’t a new or innovative concept. It’s truth.”
Frankel's right — hiring Black women to star on a show that take place in New York City isn't exactly revolutionary. There are Black women living in all five of the city's boroughs, many of them wealthy, glamorous women who would fit the bill for any Housewives show. But Williams' casting seems to be part of Bravo's concerted efforts to ramp up its representation across programming. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills added actress and producer Garcelle Beauvais to the roster last season, and the upcoming Salt Lake City edition of the franchise explores the mystery of the city's Mormon community and stars two women of colour.
In addition to being very white, RHONY is notoriously chaotic thanks to to the antics of remaining cast members Sonja Morgan, Ramona Singer, Luann de Lesseps, and Leah McSweeney. But Williams is more than up to the challenge of being the new girl.
"NYC is filled with successful and dynamic Black women. I'm excited to join this legendary franchise as the first Black housewife," wrote Williams in a statement about her new gig. "Can't wait to share a slice of life in this city that hasn't been seen before. Anyone who's aware of my work knows I don't hold back. I'm going to keep it just as real here as I do everywhere else."

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