‘RHONY’: Fans Want Luann de Lesseps Fired For Wearing Blackface

The Real Housewives of New York City is one of the original shows in the Real Housewives franchise and by far one of the most successful. The show follows the lives and loves of a group of wealthy women living in New York City.

The series has become notorious for documenting the drama between the women — although, on many occasions, the shenanigans that the cast gets up to during their off-hours is even more controversial.

This is especially true in the case of original cast member Luann de Lesseps, whose blackface scandal in 2018 is still haunting her. 

When did ‘Real Housewives of New York City’ debut on television?

Luann de Lesseps
Luann de Lesseps | Gary Gershoff/Getty Images

The Real Housewives of New York City debuted on television in 2008. The show was designed as the second in the Real Housewives franchise, and almost immediately, became a huge hit for Bravo.

The cast members include New York-based socialites like Ramona Singer, Dorinda Medley, Sonja Morgan, and Luann de Lesseps. Previous cast members included Jill Zarin, Bethenny Frankel, and Cindy Barshop, among others. 

Due to Bethenny Frankel‘s overwhelming success with her line of SkinnyGirl cocktails and drink mixes, she ended up landing several spinoff shows of her own, branching out from the show that made her a star. These days, fans love the cast as it stands, with one glaring exception. This exception is Luann de Lesseps, who’s confrontational attitude has landed her in hot water on more than one occasion. 

Who is Luann de Lesseps?

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Luann de Lesseps was born in Connecticut in 1965. She was raised in a working-class family, with a father who owned a construction company. Luann de Lesseps was athletic in high school, participating in several extracurricular activities, but by the time she reached adolescence, she started to get recognition for her good looks. During the early years of her career, de Lesseps worked as a nurse and model. 

Luann de Lesseps landed her exotic last name in 1993, when she married Count Alexandre de Lesseps. They welcomed two children and built a business empire together before divorcing in 2009. In late 2016, de Lesseps found love again when she married another wealthy businessman named Tom D’Agostino Jr.

The marriage didn’t last long and only one year later, the two announced their divorce. Throughout all of her trials and tribulations, de Lesseps has remained one of The Real Housewives of New York City‘s most consistent sources of drama, and she can always be counted on to stir up something amongst her cast members. 

Why do fans want Luann de Lesseps fired?

In 2018, the season premiere of The Real Housewives of New York City followed the cast as they attended a Halloween party thrown by Dorinda Medley. While all the featured costumes were eyebrow-raising in some way, Luann de Lesseps received the greatest amount of attention, per Glamour, for her choice of Halloween costume. 

Luann de Lesseps showed up to the party wearing a Diana Ross costume, complete with a white jumpsuit, giant wig, and skin that appeared to be darkened with excessive amounts of bronzer. Cast members and fans alike took to social media to express their disappointment with the costume and how “disrespectful” it was.

While de Lesseps’ costume was glossed over at the time, and the reality star made a public apology, even today, many are upset by her actions.

A recent Twitter thread called for Bravo to fire the star, including her name in a lineup of current Bravo stars that should be given the ax by the network. Many fans called attention to de Lesseps’ costume, reiterating that the outfit was racist.

While Bravo has not yet responded to the thread, and there has not been word that de Lesseps is in danger of getting the boot, it could be only a matter of time.