By now most New Zealanders will have heard about the claims of racism on the ridiculously named, and tragically awful ‘Real’ Housewives of Auckland. even if you have no idea what this ‘show’ is, you’ll had heard murmurings over the last week about the fallout between Julia and Michelle.
If you haven’t, long story short, entitled old white woman, who lives off her (and previous) husbands wealth, calls ex-model a ‘boat n****r’…fall out ensues, champagne is thrown in faces, lots of swearing and crying, women divide up into white/non-white groups.
There, all caught up.
The old, white, privileged woman is Julia Sloane, and she tells us that the term “boat n****r” is “an old boating term” and I am sure it is…among racist sailors. Having been involved in sailing for quite a large portion of my youth, and still knowing people who own and sail large vessels I have to say that I have never heard the term, but then again the people I spent time with on boats were not racists or, at the very least, liked to slip in and “joke” using racist terminology.
I’ve only seen (and will only see) one episode of any of the ‘Housewives‘ franchises which was last night and unfortunately it’s something that I can never un-see. It’s like if you were silly enough to see one of those ‘beheading’ videos on the internet, once you’ve seen it, you regret it and realise that it’ll haunt you until your dying days. But even though I have only seen one episode it’s very easy to see unequivocally that Julia Sloane is a moron. A dimwitted idiot who thinks hours after she speaks and for whom this ‘Housewives’ experience will end up only showing the viewers what a lacking individual she truly is. It does that same for the rest of the cast as well, as in not painting any of them in a good light, but as evidenced in last nights episode, Sloane will come out as the worst.
With that all be said, I have to say that Bravo New Zealand, in my opinion, is a whole lot worse that Julia Sloane. As we’ve already made clear, Sloane is dumber than a jar of snot, and has put her foot in it with an off the cuff remark…but the executives at Bravo NZ have made calculated and deliberate decision to benefit from this moment. The sum of the parts of last nights episode were disgusting. but the ‘whole’ which Bravo NZ brought together was even uglier.
The show and the offending “boat n****r” comment have been in the news since the weekend, lawyers have been engaged by the parties involved, and have advised Bravo on the best was to broadcast the episode (see ‘best way‘ as ‘way they are least likely to lose revenue‘). There has been promotion and publicity about the incident pointing people to the show to see what happened and then whilst Bravo made the decision to not have any advertising during the episode, they chose to play as many promotions for other programmes from their stable as possible which then publicised their product to what will likely be their biggest single audience ever.
I am not the kind of person who calls for boycotts as I think they rarely serve a purpose, but what I would like to know, from the marketing departments and CEOs of companies associated with and advertising during the #RHOAKL what they think of the episode and the messages put out there and having their brands associated with it.
Bravo NZ and Julia Sloane you should be ashamed of yourselves, Sloane for being a revolting person with an ugly hidden vein of racism and Bravo NZ for being a corporate pimp. For putting out into the market place this episode which could have been left well enough alone but as you chose not to it means you have deliberately done one thing…profited off racism and promoted it to get as much bang for your buck.