Bravo Knew Exactly What It Was Doing When It Cast Garcelle Beauvais For The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills
After the soul-sucking drama of the last season of Bravo's The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, fans of the glitzy reality series weren't sure what would happen next. The controversy surrounding Lisa Vanderpump, one of the network's most popular Housewives, and her subsequent departure left the fate of the show hanging in the balance. How could they bounce back from the loss of the glamorous restaurateur? By making history with a new Real Housewife, it appears.
RHOBH is slated to make a comeback on April 15, and its tenth season will be a big one because it features the show's very first Black Housewife, Garcelle Beauvais.
Given the current landscape of the Bravo universe, casting a Black Housewife shouldn't be that big of a deal. The franchise's Atlanta and Potomac-based editions feature all-Black casts, and the network also boasts a plethora of other diverse offerings. However, RHOBH has always been an overwhelmingly white space, the picture of opulence, decadence, and rich white woman problems — until now, that is. And Beauvais might be just the timely new addition that the show needs to switch gears.
When Vanderpump officially exited RHOBH last summer, a massive chunk of its' viewership walked away with her, vowing never to tune into another episode of a show without the glitzy Brit. It's likely that Bravo took notice of the negative fan reactions and decided to give the series a long overdue update in hopes of reviving it even without its OG. Adding Beauvais to the cast potentially opens up a whole new demographic for the show. She's an undisputed icon within Black culture and will definitely bring in a bevy of loyal fans eager to get a glimpse into the star's every day life.
It took Bravo far too long to add a person of color to the RHOBH roster, but the timing couldn't have been better. Hollywood is changing; in 2020, Beverly Hills is no longer the white space that it once was. And what better way for the show to demonstrate its relevance than recruiting a Black woman who knows the 90210 like the back of her hand?
The Haitian-born 53-year-old has built a career for herself in the entertainment world since her debut as as a fashion model in her teens. After modeling for the likes of Calvin Klein and Isaac Mizrahi and appearing on the cover of numerous Black magazines, Beauvais made a smooth transition into acting. She appeared in a number of television shows before '90s series Models Inc and The Jamie Foxx Show put her on the map, ushering in a solid career as an actress.
Beauvais is still acting — her most recent role is on the CBS All Access series Tell Me a Story and she will appear in the developing sequel to Coming to America — but the new gig on RHOBH marks her first foray into the world of reality television. Plus, the women of the 90210 aren't known for being the easiest to get along with; the core Housewives have cycled in and out of the series since its 2010 premiere. Nonetheless, Beauvais is up for the challenge. In fact, she's jumping headfirst into the reality scene.
"It feels great," she described her new position as a Housewife to the hosts of The Real last month. "I also feel like it's about time because [Black women] are in every zip code."
When questioned why she agreed to join the show (at Housewife Denise Richards' urging), Beauvais told The Real hosts that she felt like it was time for her to switch things up in her career. The series gives the actress an opportunity to share more about the other thats that she wears: mother, producer, and humanitarian.
She'll also provide a needed energy shift for the show's cast members testier, more tightly-wound; just imagine Beauvais getting RHOBH OG Kyle Richards in order. Quality TV, I tell ya.
Beauvais will make her grand debut as a Beverly Hills Housewife when the series returns for its tenth season tonight on Bravo.