LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Bravo has re-edited a March episode in which Kenya Moore of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" wore a Native American headdress as a costume to a Halloween party filmed for the show, Variety has confirmed. Both Moore and Bravo apologized for the costume in March after the episode aired, and Moore apologized again during the cast reunion last month. A spokesperson for Bravo said the episode was edited shortly after it aired. Now, Moore is shown only minimally as a "warrior princess," as she put it on the show.
The new version of the episode is available on BravoTV.com, the Bravo app and on VOD. In one scene featuring a confrontation between Moore and LaToya Ali (a designated "friend" on the show), as they sit on a couch, the camera goes back and forth between Ali in a mermaid costume and various chairs and decorations, rather than ever focusing on Moore.
During the March 21 episode, cast members Porsha Williams and Drew Sidora both took issue in their confessional interviews with the costume. "Kenya is a Native American warrior," Williams said to a producer. "I thought we weren't doing that no more. Like, I knew that this girl was crazy, but add lame to the list. Add whack to the list." And Sidora, who clashed with Moore throughout her first season in the cast, said: "Kenya's Native American costume is super problematic. But I'm not trying to ruffle no feathers before this girls' trip."
And after Cynthia Bailey is shown at the party asking Moore where she'd gotten the headpiece, Sidora continued in the confessional, saying, "I'm always the only one who sees the issues in Kenya Moore's decisions!"
The women's comments dragging Moore for the costume remain in the edited episode, but without the full display of what she wore.
After the backlash to the episode, and the apologies from Moore and Bravo, a story in New York magazine said the network worked with IllumiNative, an Native American educational nonprofit, which spoke "with Moore and the RHOA production team about cultural appropriation." IllumiNative had been critical of Moore in the wake of the episode airing, asserting in an Instagram post that "costumes that mock Native peoples, defame our traditions and cultures, and perpetuate negative stereotypes are racist," and of Bravo and its parent company: "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."
This instance is not the first time in the past year that Bravo has gone back and edited or removed something that had previously aired because of offensive content. Last summer, the network temporarily took down multiple episodes of its show "Southern Charm" that had been flagged for racism, and ended up excising a scene in a season three episode in which cast member Kathryn Dennis blithely gave a tour of her family's plantation to a guest, casually pointing out a slave cemetery. And a transphobic episode from season one of "Below Deck" has been disappeared entirely.
At the time, a spokesperson for Bravo told Variety that the review was something the network was doing to flag potentially offensive content.