‘RHONY’: How Do Fans Feel About Newcomer Leah McSweeney?

The Real Housewives of New York City is reportedly welcoming a new cast member on the heels of Bethenny Frankel’s departure. Leah McSweeney joins the cast under a cloud of controversy, which may prompt fans to roll up the welcome mat.

McSweeney’s bio includes motherhood, but she’s also the founder of streetwear brand Married to the Mob, ET reports. Bravo typically selects new cast members due to their connections to a current Housewife. A source told ET, “Leah is a friend of Tinsley [Mortimer’s] and the two have already filmed a workout scene together.”

Leah McSweeney
Leah McSweeney | John Sciulli/Getty Images for PacSun

While McSweeney appears to have the level of fierceness Bravo looks for in a Housewife, she has made a few public missteps that already has fans saying “no thank you.”

She made these racist and homophobic comments

In her podcast, McSweeney blasted Saturday Night Live‘s Michael Che after he allegedly rejected her, Page Six reports. She angrily said, “Michael Che is so arrogant and so rude and disrespectful that I cannot even believe that someone … you’re like a D-list celebrity to me, whatever, that’s why I don’t even care that I’m saying his name.”

But text messages in 2016 between the two showed McSweeney being aggressive. She referred to Che as “The dudes all look gay to me” and later wrote, “U hate me cus I’m white. Our conversations r everything to me btw. We have a lot of friends in common and if anyone of them saw this I would b so ashamed.”

The exchange is coming back to haunt her. “Homophobic and racist oh Lordy! No Bueno,” a fan wrote after reading an article about her on Twitter. Another person agreed. “Just what we need…a racist bigot.”

Some fans are willing to give her a chance

Although some fans responded negatively to the article, others are willing to give McSweeney a chance. “#1. Anybody is better than Beth,” one person responded. “#2. Leah’s texts were beyond annoying but she’s not a racist. Quite misleading. Y’all about to burn an innocent woman for nuthin. If u read entire convo, it was ab men being metro in nyc. Y’all use that word loosely. Totally taken out of context.”

Another agreed. “Dont think she’s racist but comments were homophobic. She seemed like she’s thirsty for a Black guy and because this particular man doesn’t seem interested in her she blames it on him not being into white girls. She’s pathetic and is a definite NO for #RHONY Ya hear that @Andy.”

In fact, one person isn’t totally convinced she’s a done deal. “They usually shoot a few scenes with different possibles to see who works best don’t they? Just because she was filming worth Tinsley doesn’t necessarily mean she’s in.”

But others aren’t ready to see anyone step into Bethenny Frankel’s shoes

In some cases, fans can’t even fathom another cast member moving into Frankel’s space. One person commented when a Twitter user asked what fans thought of McSweeney. “That she’ll never be Bethenny,’ one person commented.

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Another person couldn’t believe it. “This is what we are getting to replace Bethenny?” This person made an observation. “She looks like a blond Bethenny, but no one can replace Bethenny.”

This Twitter user shared this opinion. “First of all Bethany cannot be replaced by anyone, there is only one Bethany Franklin . Please NOT another Tinsley she is the most boring woman on TV at the moment and as for filming fitness work out scenes, your right NO ONE is interested in watching that crap!”