‘The Real’: Jeannie Mai Sets the Record Straight About Amanda Seales’ Departure: ‘She Wasn’t Fired’
The co-hosts of the The Real were thrilled earlier this year when they added a permanent seat at their table for Amanda Seales. Seales had often been a guest host on the show, but while she was somewhat familiar with The Real stage, she found herself leaving the show only six months after she joined.
Rumors swirled that Seales had actually been fired from the show, though she remained adamant that she left on her own terms. Co-host Jeannie Mai recently opened up about Seales’ departure.
Amanda Seales told fans she left the show because she felt her ‘voice’ wasn’t being heard
In January, The Real family expanded; Amanda Seales joined the cast. Seales had guest starred on the show frequently before becoming a permanent co-host, though it took signing a contract for her to realize she actually didn’t want to be a part of the production.
Within six months of joining, Seales wanted out. “My contract is up at The Real, and I didn’t renew it,” Seales told fans on Instagram Live in June. “It doesn’t feel good to my soul to be at a place where I cannot speak to my people the way they need to be spoken to.” Seales also said that she felt the show was “not respecting the necessity for Black voices to be at the top.”
Jeannie Mai revealed that Seales left on her own terms
The moment Seales announced her departure, rumors swirled about what actually happened behind the scenes. Seales denied that there was any tension with her co-stars, but some thought the show might have chosen not to renew her contract. Seales said she was not fired from the show and cited her same reasons: Black voices weren’t being heard.
On Sept. 3, The Real co-host Jeannie Mai joined Lori Stokes on Good Day New York to set the record straight about Seales’ departure. “Amanda is saying she wasn’t fired; she left on her own. Did she leave on her own?” Stokes questioned.
“Yeah, absolutely,” Mai said. “The Real has always been a place where our voices reign supreme. Our voices are heard. Your decisions, how you move about what you want… That’s always something that’s communicated.” Mai seemed to suggest that when Seales said she wasn’t happy on the show, the producers heard her and didn’t fight her on leaving. “Our show is about progression and transition and growing.”
Garcelle Beauvais is stepping in as the new co-host
Shortly after Seales left, Tamera Mowry-Housley announced that she was departing the show, too. She cited wanting to spend more time with her family and take on new opportunities. With two co-hosts out, producers needed to bring in a fresh face. It was rumored that Keke Palmer was being tapped for the position, but producers went with actor Garcelle Beauvais.
“I am thrilled to be joining the dynamic, bold, and diverse women on the award-winning talk show The Real,” Beauvais told Variety. Beauvais most recently became a cast member on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and previously starred in The Jamie Foxx Show and NYPD Blue.
The Real returns for its seventh season on Sept. 21.