Pop Culture

'Shahs of Sunset's' Reza Farahan challenges sexual, cultural taboos

Breaking taboos is one thing; doing it on your own reality TV show -- that takes some guts. And Reza Farahan, one of the stars of Bravo's reality show "Shahs of Sunset," is doing both. As the series' second season gets set to premiere, Farahan, who works in Beverly Hills real estate, dropped by TODAY Friday to talk about how the show has changed his, and his family's lives.

"My mom's friends, a lot of her 'bourgie' (bourgeoise) friends, think that people of a certain caliber should never do a reality show," said the Tehran, Iran-born Farahan (whose bio on Bravo's site notes that his mustache, "Little Reza," is two years old). "(They think they) shouldn't expose their culture to the masses. And I disagree."

But it's not just about going public with the successful, flashy American lifestyle of these Persian-Americans: Farahan has broken other rules in his culture. "It's so taboo in my culture to be gay, and when the president of the country I was born in (Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) comes out and says we don't exist, that does a lot of damage," he explained. "So if I need to hear a little criticism here or there -- or a lot of criticism, I'm happy do it."

"Shahs of Sunset" returns for its second season on Bravo on Dec. 2 at 10 p.m.

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