Andy Cohen Finally Reacts to Backlash Over ‘The Real Housewives of Dubai’

Andy Cohen is the executive behind The Real Housewives franchise. The Watch What Happens Live host is one of the creative components of the successful Bravo reality series. Cohen recently confirmed that The Real Housewives of Dubai was happening and taking the franchise to a whole new territory. However, some fans quickly pointed out that filming the show in the Middle East was not a good idea. Cohen is now giving his thoughts on the controversy and why he thinks taking the show to the United Arab Emirates could be beneficial.

Andy Cohen smiling
Andy Cohen | Nathan Congleton/NBC

Andy Cohen breaks his silence on ‘RHODubai’ controversy

Cohen takes calls on his SiriusXM show Andy Cohen Live and on the show that aired on Nov. 10, a caller asked about RHODubai. The fan wanted to know what Cohen’s take was on the controversy surrounding the show for filming in a country where women and LGBTQ rights are lacking.

“Dubai is somewhere — we found an incredible group of people and I think it’s going to be a really exciting show and I think it’ll be a great addition to the franchise,” he said. “I think for a lot of people in this country who watch the housewives or who watch this kind of show, it may be their first or only exposure to Dubai. And while the show is really meant to entertain, what I also hope is that maybe we can showcase some of the stuff that’s going on there that is politically incorrect, and educate people about that.”

Furthermore, Cohen said that he was hopeful that the show could “impact some change” and to “get people talking about it.”

“And who knows, maybe we can move the needle a little bit, so that is my hope and I thank you for that question,” he told the caller.

Andy Cohen smiling
Andy Cohen | Bravo

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Andy Cohen finds fans concerns ‘fair’

Cohen also said that fans of the franchise are making a “really fair point” regarding their concerns around the show. He also pointed out that it’s different when the show is based in Dubai versus when The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills took a cast trip to that city.

“In a weird way, if we expose people to it, won’t that be a significant conversation starter as opposed to never having the conversation?” Cohen added.

Andy Cohen smiling
Andy Cohen | Bravo

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Andy Cohen excited about ‘The Real Housewives of Dubai’

The WWHL host made an appearance on the Today show to break the news that The Real Housewives franchise was expanding. This would be the first time that Bravo takes the format to a city outside of the United States. Other television networks had bought the rights to the franchise and produced local versions of it but without Bravo’s expertise.

“Get your passports! Our 11th city, we’re going to the billionaires’ playground, the city of gold, the desert oasis — The Real Housewives of Dubai,” Cohen said excitedly while being interviewed by Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie. “The first international city produced by Bravo. This is maj (major) — huge.”

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The television personality said that the cable network has “a great group of friends” and that this expansion would “blood the lid off of the entire franchise.”

In an official statement from Bravo, Cohen said, “Everything’s bigger in Dubai, and I couldn’t be more excited to launch Bravo’s first international Housewives series in a city I’ve been fascinated by for years, with an outstanding group of friends as our guides.”

RHODubai is expected to premiere sometime in 2022.