Following her tenure on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, NeNe Leakes filed a lawsuit against its production companies, citing a hostile and racist working environment.
Us Weekly confirmed in April 2022 that Leakes sued NBCUniversal, Bravo, production companies True Entertainment and Truly Original and executive producer Andy Cohen over working conditions. The case was filed in the city of Atlanta, and it ended four months later.
Per the court docs, the Linnethia Lounge owner alleged that NBC and its Bravo network “maintain a corporate culture that is insensitive to Black talent and fosters racially offensive behavior that goes unpunished.”
Leakes went on to assert that the company’s lack of diversity in its corporate structure has contributed to insensitivities toward people of color, further alleging that the Real Housewives franchise is “racially segregated” and called out their treatment of diverse show stars. (Us reached out to Bravo and Cohen for comment but they did not respond.)
“For years, NBC, Bravo and True have fostered a corporate and workplace culture that has permitted and tolerated – if not, encouraged – racially offensive and insensitive conduct, statements and actions by their employees,” the court documents claim. “This is seen in the repeated instances of such behavior occurring by their employees and cast members without any meaningful consequence, corrective action, or remediation. In fact, it is as if NBC, Bravo, and/or True have simply ignored and turned a blind eye to the fact that the talent who works on their shows are also working at their workplaces.”
However, the New York native and the defendants filed a joint stipulation of dismissal without prejudice in August 2022, dropping the lawsuit before a hearing took place.
“Leakes hereby dismisses this action and all claims asserted by Leakes without prejudice, thereby concluding this case before this Court at this time,” according to court documents obtained by Us Weekly.
Leakes initially joined RHOA in 2008 before announcing her departure in season 7. She later returned for seasons 10, 11 and 12 before leaving for good in September 2020.
“I have made the hard and very difficult decision to not be a part of Real Housewives of Atlanta season 13,” the Glee alum said via her YouTube channel at the time. “It wasn’t an easy decision for me. … There has been a lot of emotion flying on both sides. I’m just so happy that I can say that I was a part of a genre that opened doors for Black ensemble reality shows.”
The TV network, for its part, wished Leakes “all the best in her future endeavors” per a statement to Us at the time. They added, “She’s been instrumental since the start and will truly be missed, and maybe one day she’ll hold the peach again.”
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