Kenya Moore apologized on Tuesday for wearing a feathered headdress as a costume during Sunday’s episode of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.”
I want to sincerely apologize for inappropriately wearing the Native American headdress as a costume.
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.
An activist group called IllumiNative wrote a statement on Instagram on Monday coming at Kenya Moore and Bravo about “costumes that mock Native people.”
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. Countless research studies show the harm these images, actions, and the normalization of these behaviors have on our youth. We also know the dehumanization and sexualization of Native women contributes to the crisis of murdered and missing Indigenous women. #MMIW
We are also incredibly concerned that none of the producers or executives at @bravotv, @comcast, @nbcuniversal intervened although several cast members commented on how uncomfortable, unnecessary, and offensive the costume was on camera. 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, which go against the values @comcast professes to have.
It is important that @bravotv, @comcast, @nbcuniversal, @bravoandy and @thekenyamoore apologize for the harm they have caused Native peoples and commit to ensuring offensive displays like this never happen again. Native people are not a costume.
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The Bravo network responded in the comments section of the post:
Bravo aims to have the highest standards of respect and inclusivity and 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.
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.
The Native American community said y’all gon learn today, tomorrow, and forever to respect us.
Source: Page Six